Statistics Canada reports that Canadian railways transported 26.5 million tonnes of freight in January, down 19.1% from January 2021. This marked the fifth straight month of year-over-year declines and the steepest percentage drop in more than a decade.
The Federal Agency notes that while rail freight transport typically slows down during the winter months, the volume of cargo carried in January 2022 was at its lowest level since 2014.
January’s drop was attributable to widespread volume declines in freight loadings in both domestic non-intermodal (mainly commodities) and intermodal (mainly containers) operations.
The tonnage of non-intermodal freight loadings posted a sharp year-over-year decline, dropping 22.6% to 20.2 million tonnes in January,
While the drop reflects broad-based declines for many commodities, it was led by ongoing large decreases in some agricultural and food products-notably grain.
Domestic intermodal shipments-mainly containers-continued their downward trend, dipping 12.8% year over year to 2.7 million tonnes. This was the fifth consecutive month of declines.
Freight traffic from US rail connections grew year over year for the 11th consecutive month in January, rising 1.5% to 3.5 million tonnes. This was the second-highest volume ever recorded for a month of January.