Statistics Canada reports that Canadian railways transported 32.4 million tonnes of freight in November, slightly above (+0.8%) November 2022 levels. Albeit small, this marked the first year-over-year increase in rail volumes in seven months as higher carloadings of potash, coal and wheat more than offset declines in canola and other grains.
The Federal Agency notes that overall tonnage in November was above the five-year monthly average of 31.6 million tonnes.
The overall November increase in rail volumes was driven by higher volumes of non-intermodal (i.e., commodities) shipments that offset a decline in intermodal (i.e., containers) traffic.
Domestic intermodal shipments – mainly containers – continued their downward trend for the 12th consecutive month, dipping by 1.9% year over year to 2.9 million tonnes. Continued declines with intermodal rail volume may reflect a weakening of demand for imported goods.
Loadings from connections with American railways totalled 3.5 million, a near-zero growth (0.0%) from November 2022. However, this total still represents the second-highest volume ever recorded for the month of November.