The RAC tracks 11 commodity groupings moved by freight railways in Canada.
A recent conversation about US railcar loadings got me thinking about similar data for Canada, thankfully the Railway Association of Canada recently released their 2019 report.
In 2019, intermodal goods, minerals, and fuels and chemicals were the largest groupings of carloads transported by Canada’s railways, accounting for 66 per cent of all carloads. The largest increases among groupings in 2019 were intermodal (48,900 carloads or 2.6%), coal (23,700 carloads or 7.0%) and fuels & chemicals (22,500 carloads or 3.6%).
The largest decreases were forest products (-35,300 carloads or -13.6%), minerals (-33,100 carloads or -3.1%), metals (-14,600 carloads or -8.1%) and paper products (-13,000 carloads or -9.2%).
In 2019, the freight rail sector’s revenue increased by 1.6 per cent to $12.6 billion. Similar to the previous year, freight railways generated most — 55 per cent in 2019 — of their revenue from transporting intermodal goods, agricultural products, and fuels and chemicals.
On a revenue basis, agriculture, coal, fuels & chemicals, food products, manufactured & miscellaneous and intermodal saw increases over 2018; while minerals, forest products, metals, machinery & automotive and paper products saw decreases.