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Railway carloadings, March 2019

Released: 2019-05-29

Railway carloadings, total tonnage

31.5 million tonnes

March 2019

-1.5% decrease

(12-month change)

The volume of rail freight carried in Canada totalled 31.5 million tonnes in March, down 1.5% 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 0.9% from the same month in 2018 to 28.7 million tonnes in March. Non-intermodal freight increased 0.1% to 314,000 carloads. The amount of freight loaded into these cars rose 1.0% from March 2018 to 25.5 million tonnes.

The commodities with the largest increase in tonnage compared with March 2018 were iron ores and concentrates (+430 000 tonnes or +9.4%), gaseous hydrocarbons, including liquefied petroleum gas (+234 000 tonnes or +38.9%), fuel oils and crude petroleum (+118 000 tonnes or +9.5%) and coal (+111 000 tonnes or +3.7%).

Tonnages declined for other cereal grains (-221 000 tonnes or -33.3%), wheat (-174 000 tonnes or -8.6%), colza seeds (canola) (-123 000 tonnes or -13.7%) and other oil seeds and nuts and other agricultural products (-103 000 tonnes or -41.2%).

Intermodal freight loadings decreased 2.9% from March 2018 to 211,000 units. In terms of weight, intermodal traffic increased 0.6% to 3.2 million tonnes.

Freight traffic received from the United States declined 20.7% to 2.8 million tonnes as a result of a 21.9% 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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