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Railway carloadings, November 2018

Released: 2019-01-29

Railway carloadings, total tonnage

33.8 million tonnes

November 2018

7.2% increase

(12-month change)

The volume of rail freight carried in Canada totalled 33.8 million tonnes in November, up 7.2% 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 8.8% from the same month in 2017 to 30.8 million tonnes in November. Non-intermodal freight increased 9.6% to 337,000 carloads. The amount of freight loaded into these cars rose 10.2% from November 2017 to 27.7 million tonnes.

In November, the commodities with the largest increase in tonnage compared with November 2017 were fuel oils and crude petroleum (+1 058 000 tonnes or +93.9%), coal (+591 000 tonnes or +24.0%), potash (+280 000 tonnes or +16.9%), other cereal grains (+224 000 tonnes or +48.7%) and fresh, chilled or dried vegetables (+204 000 tonnes or +153.2%).

Conversely, tonnages declined for other oil seeds, nuts and other agricultural products (-250 000 tonnes or -32.8%), iron ores and concentrates (-221 000 tonnes or -4.3%) and lumber (-59 000 tonnes or -6.2%).

Intermodal freight loadings rose 1.5% from November 2017 to 214,000 units. In terms of weight, intermodal traffic decreased 1.8% to 3.2 million tonnes.

Freight traffic received from the United States fell 7.5% to 3.0 million tonnes as a result of a 8.2% decrease in non-intermodal 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;

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