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Railway carloadings, February 2019

Released: 2019-04-25

Railway carloadings, total tonnage

25.7 million tonnes

February 2019

-5.5% decrease

(12-month change)

The volume of rail freight carried in Canada totalled 25.7 million tonnes in February, down 5.5% 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 fell 3.4% from the same month in 2018 to 23.3 million tonnes in February. Non-intermodal freight decreased 2.3% to 257,000 carloads. The amount of freight loaded into these cars fell 3.0% from February 2018 to 20.8 million tonnes.

In February, the commodities with the largest increase in tonnage compared with February 2018 were wheat (+402,000 tonnes or +33.1%), coal (+219,000 tonnes or +9.8%) and gaseous hydrocarbons, including LPG's (+178,000 tonnes or +30.1%).

Tonnages declined for iron ores and concentrates (-769,000 tonnes or -16.8%), potash (-209,000 tonnes or -12.3%) and other refined petroleum and coal products (-82,000 tonnes or -25.0%).

Intermodal freight loadings decreased 5.8% from February 2018 to 176,000 units. In terms of weight, intermodal traffic decreased 6.7% to 2.6 million tonnes.

Freight traffic received from the United States fell 21.9% to 2.4 million tonnes, as a result of a 23.3% 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; STATCAN.infostats-infostats.STATCAN@canada.ca) or Media Relations (613-951-4636; STATCAN.mediahotline-ligneinfomedias.STATCAN@canada.ca).

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