The Daily
 In the news  Indicators  Releases by subject
 Special interest  Release schedule  Information

Railway carloadings, June 2018

Released: 2018-08-29

Railway carloadings, total tonnage

31.6 million tonnes

June 2018

2.5% increase

(12-month change)

The volume of rail freight carried in Canada totalled 31.6 million tonnes in June, up 2.5% from the same month a year earlier.

Chart 1  Chart 1: Railway carloadings, total tonnage shipped
Railway carloadings, total tonnage shipped

Freight originating in Canada rose 2.7% from the same month last year to 28.3 million tonnes. Non-intermodal freight increased by 5.5% to 312,000 carloads in June. The amount of freight loaded into these cars rose 3.4% from June 2017 to 25.3 million tonnes.

In June, due to limited pipeline capacity, the largest increase in tonnages for the second month in a row was for fuel oils and crude petroleum (+464 000 tonnes or +45.8%) on a year-over-year basis. Crude-by-rail exports from Canada rose 31.4% in the first six months of the year and 86.8% in June, compared with the same periods a year earlier, according to the National Energy Board. Tonnages also increased for potash (+291 000 tonnes or +18.3%), fresh, chilled or dried vegetables (+126 000 tonnes or +63.8%) and other oil seeds, other nuts, and other agricultural products (+125 000 tonnes or +112.8%) compared with June 2017.

Conversely, tonnages declined for wheat (-343 000 tonnes or -16.1%), sand, gravel and crushed stone (-111 000 tonnes or -27.4%), and other basic chemicals (-80 000 tonnes or -12.1%) over the same period.

Intermodal freight loadings fell 0.6% from June 2017 to 208,000 units in June. In terms of weight, intermodal traffic decreased 2.7% to 3.1 million tonnes.

Freight traffic received from the United States rose 1.3% to 3.2 million tonnes as a result of increases in both non-intermodal (+0.6%) and intermodal (+10.1%) freight.

Chart 2  Chart 2: Railway carloadings, top commodities shipped
Railway carloadings, top commodities shipped

  Note to readers

The Monthly Railway Carloadings Survey collects data, including the number of rail cars, tonnage, units and 20-feet equivalent units, from railways operating in Canada that provide for-hire freight service.

Non-intermodal freight is cargo moved via box cars or loaded in bulk. Intermodal freight is cargo moved via containers and trailers on flat cars.

Data are available for Canada, the eastern division and the western division. 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.

Data in this release are not seasonally adjusted.

Contact information

For more information, or to enquire about the concepts, methods or data quality of this release, contact us (toll-free 1-800-263-1136; 514-283-8300; or Media Relations (613-951-4636;

Date modified: