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June 27, 2012
Canadian rail freight up in April thanks to traffic from the U.S.
Statistics Canada announced that Canadian rail freight traffic rose 2.0% in April, to 27.2 million tonnes. The April 2012 to April 2011 increases in international cargo loadings were the sole cause of the increase as domestic freight shipments declined.
Total domestic freight loadings were down 0.7% to 23.8 million tonnes compared to April 2011 volumes.
Non-intermodal cargo loadings (i.e., carried in bulk or loaded in box cars) declined 1.6% to 21.3 million tonnes. The decrease was the result of reduced traffic in more than half of the commodity classifications carried by the railways.
The commodity groups with the largest declines in tonnage were coal, iron ores and concentrates, and other cereal grains. In contrast, several commodity groups registered increases, such as loadings of wheat which increased the most, followed by fuel oils and crude petroleum, and other refined petroleum and coal products.
Intermodal freight loadings (i.e., containers and trailers on flat cars) grew 8.1% 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 United States advanced 25.2% to 3.4 million tonnes. The increase was driven by both non-intermodal and intermodal traffic.
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