Statistics Canada reports that the volume of freight carried by Canadian railways reached 31.7 million tonnes in January, up 18.7% from January 2022 levels, marking the ninth consecutive month of year-over-year increases.
The Federal Agency notes that Canadian grain shipments were the largest contributor to the year-over-year increase in January 2023, partly reflecting lower volumes in January 2022 attributable to the drought across the Prairies in the summer of 2021. The overall freight volume was much higher than normal for this time of year, exceeding the five-year monthly average of 30.4 million tonnes.
Non-intermodal freight loadings in Canada continued their nine-month growth trend, rising 26.9% year over year to 25.6 million tonnes in January. While the growth was widespread among commodities, it was driven by increases in agricultural and food products-especially grain.
Domestic intermodal shipments-mainly containers-declined for the second consecutive month in January, edging down 1.1% year over year to 2.8 million tonnes. American freight continues to trend down
Freight traffic from US rail connections declined year over year for the fifth consecutive month, falling by about 414 000 tonnes to reach 3.3 million tonnes in January, a decline of 11.1%.