Iron ore loadings drive increase in Canadian railway freight volume in February

Monday, 26 April 2021 20:33:24 (GMT+3)   |   San Diego

According to Statistics Canada, Canadian railways carried 27.2 million tons of freight in February, up 1.0 percent from February 2020. This marked the fourth consecutive year-over-year monthly increase in tonnage.

The overall tonnage was higher than the five-year average for this month and near the peak of 27.3 million tons reached in February 2017.

Domestic intermodal loadings—mainly containers—accounted for the increase in the volume of cargo carried in February, surging to 2.8 million tons, up 42.0 percent from February 2020. This came on the heels of a 20.2 percent year-over-year gain in January. It appears that the replenishment of inventories and higher imports of some consumer goods in February helped to create stronger demand for multimodal containerized transport to dispatch larger and quicker shipments of food and consumer goods in the wake of COVID-19.

Loadings of iron ores and concentrates posted a year-over-year gain for a fourth consecutive month—rising by 17.0 percent (+631 000 tons) from February 2020—reflecting a continued rebound in steel production. Indeed, the agency's Monthly Survey of Manufacturing reported a year-over-year increase of 13.5 percent for primary metal manufacturing sales in February.

Freight traffic coming from the United States remained well below February 2020 levels, falling 15.4 percent to 2.7 million tons, marking the eleventh consecutive month of decline.

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