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Railway carloadings, April 2013

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Released: 2013-06-25

The Canadian railway industry saw double-digit growth in commodity loadings in April, as freight traffic carried rose 11.0% from the same month in 2012 to 30.2 million tonnes. The growth was spurred by a strong increase in domestic non-intermodal loadings, which helped offset a decline in shipments received from the United States.

Within Canada, combined loadings of non-intermodal freight (that is, cargo moved via box cars or loaded in bulk) and intermodal freight (that is, cargo moved via containers and trailers on flat cars) rose 13.0% to 26.9 million tonnes.

Non-intermodal freight loadings rose 14.2% to 24.4 million tonnes in April. The gain was mostly the result of robust growth in four commodities: iron ores and concentrates (up 791 000 tonnes), coal (up 790 000 tonnes), fuel oils and crude petroleum (up 595 000 tonnes) and potash (up 365 000 tonnes). Combined, these commodities accounted for more than 80% of the overall growth in non-intermodal tonnage loaded during the month.

Intermodal freight loadings increased 2.4% to 2.5 million tonnes. Both containerized cargo shipments and trailers loaded onto flat cars contributed to the gain.

From a geographic perspective, both the Western and Eastern railway divisions saw increased loadings in April. The Western Division, which accounted for 59.4% of the domestic freight loadings, rose 11.5% from the same month in 2012 to 16.0 million tonnes. The Eastern Division accounted for the remainder of the loadings and increased 15.3% to 10.9 million tonnes. For statistical purposes, cargo loadings from Thunder Bay, Ontario, to the Pacific Coast are classified to the Western Division while loadings from Armstrong, Ontario, to the Atlantic Coast are classified to the Eastern Division.

Rail freight traffic received from the United States decreased 3.2% to 3.3 million tonnes. The drop was brought on by a decline in non-intermodal loadings.

The April 2013 issue of Monthly Railway Carloadings, Vol. 90, no. 4 (Catalogue number52-001-X), is now available from the Browse by key resource module of our website under Publications.

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