OTTAWA, Ont. -- Canadian railways carried 28.0 million tonnes of freight in August, virtually unchanged from August 2011, despite an increase in rail traffic from the US, according to the latest figures from Statistics Canada.
Domestic loadings, composed of non-intermodal traffic (carried in bulk or loaded in box cars) and intermodal traffic (containers and trailers on flat cars), decreased slightly, by 0.2%, from August 2011 to 24.5 million tonnes in August.
Domestic non-intermodal freight loadings declined 0.7% to 21.9 million tonnes. The decrease was the result of reduced traffic in almost half of the commodity classifications carried by the railways. The commodity groups with the largest declines in tonnage were iron ores and concentrates, potash, and colza seeds (canola). Despite these declines, a strong increase occurred in loadings of fuel oils and crude petroleum.
Intermodal freight loadings rose 3.9% to 2.5 million tonnes. The increase occurred solely on the strength of containerized cargo shipments, as trailers loaded onto flat cars declined.
Internationally, total rail traffic received from the US advanced 1.6% to 3.5 million tonnes. The increase was attributable to both non-intermodal and intermodal traffic.