DAILY NEWS Jan 31, 2013 1:27 PM - 0 comments

Canadian rail freight posts volume gains for third straight month

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OTTAWA, Ont. -- Canadian railways carried 27.4 million tonnes of freight in November, up 0.8% from November 2011 and the third consecutive year-over-year increase for the month, according to a report from Statistics Canada. The gain occurred almost entirely on the strength of international rail traffic shipments, according to StatsCan.

Within Canada, combined loadings of intermodal traffic and non-intermodal traffic decreased 0.4% to 24.2 million tonnes. The drop in domestic loadings was the result of reduced loadings of non-intermodal traffic, which offset the gains in intermodal traffic.

Domestic intermodal freight loadings rose 4.2% to 2.5 million tonnes, solely attributed to increased loadings of freight in containers as freight moved via trailers on flat cars dropped.

Domestic non-intermodal freight loadings decreased 0.9% to 21.7 million tonnes. Loadings declined in 33 of the 64 commodity groups, led by iron ores and concentrates, potash, wheat and colza seeds (canola). The decline was partially offset by gains in a number of commodity groups, most notably, fuel oils and crude petroleum.

The Western Division accounted for 57.7% of the domestic freight loadings, virtually unchanged from the same month in 2011. The remainder was loaded in the Eastern Division. For statistical purposes, cargo loadings from Thunder Bay, Ont., to the Pacific Coast are classified to the Western Division while loadings from Armstrong, Ont., to the Atlantic Coast are classified to the Eastern Division.

Freight traffic received from US connections rose 10.9% to 3.2 million tonnes, driven by increases in both non-intermodal and intermodal traffic movements.

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