Thursday, October 28, 2010

Railway Carloadings Increase in August

(Statistics Canada)

The Canadian railway industry saw an increase in cargo loadings in August, as traffic originating on domestic railways as well as traffic received from American railways rose. Total rail freight traffic increased to 25.1 million metric tonnes in August, up 19.6% from the same month last year.

Freight loadings originating in Canada rose 18.1% from August 2009 to 22.6 million metric tonnes. The industry's core transportation systems, non-intermodal and intermodal, both contributed to rise.

Non-intermodal freight loadings, which are typically carried in bulk or loaded in box cars, rose 18.0% from August 2009 to 20.1 million metric tonnes. The commodity groups that saw the largest increases in tonnage were iron ores and concentrates, potash and iron and steel (primary or semi-finished). While the loadings of a majority of commodity groups rose in August, a number of groups registered declines. Those with the largest decreases were lumber, other cereal grains and wood pulp.

Intermodal freight loadings, which involves transporting freight through containers and trailers loaded onto flat cars, increased 18.6% from August 2009 to 2.4 million metric tonnes.

Rail freight traffic received from the United States rose to 2.5 million metric tonnes in August, up 34.7% from August 2009. The increase stemmed largely from non-intermodal freight loadings, which rose 37.3%.

From a geographic perspective, 53.6% of the freight traffic originating in Canada was loaded in the Western Division of Canada, with the remainder loaded in the Eastern Division. The Eastern and Western Divisions, for statistical purposes, are separated by an imaginary line running from Thunder Bay to Armstrong, Ontario. Freight loaded at Thunder Bay is included in the Western Division while loadings at Armstrong are reported in the Eastern Division.