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Rail freight volume dropped 4.8% in Canada in the month of March

June 2, 2016

Statistics Canada announced that the country's railways carried a total of 29.4 million tonnes in March, a decrease of 4.8% from the same month last year.

The Federal agency reports that total rail freight originating in Canada decreased 2.3% to 26.8 million tonnes.

Non-intermodal freight fell 1.1% to 296,000 carloads in March. The amount of freight loaded into these cars totalled 24.2 million tonnes, down 1.8% from the same month last year. The fall reflected a decrease in freight loadings of coal (down 274 000 tonnes), fuel oils and crude petroleum (down 269 000 tonnes) and potash (down 194 000 tonnes). This was the fifth consecutive month that the tonnage of coal, potash, and fuel oils and crude petroleum shipped by rail posted a year-over-year decline.

Intermodal freight loadings fell 8.0% to 176,000 units in March. In terms of weight, intermodal traffic fell 6.6% to 2.7 million tonnes, as a result of a decrease in containers and trailers on flat cars.

Data compiled by Statistics Canada indicate that freight traffic received from the United States fell 25.3% to 2.5 million tonnes, as a result of a decrease in non-intermodal shipments.

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