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COMPETITION WATCH: Railcar and intermodal container volumes spike in October

OTTAWA, Ont. -- Railway carloadings were up substantially in October, largely a result of the settlement of a labou...


OTTAWA, Ont. — Railway carloadings were up substantially in October, largely a result of the settlement of a labour dispute in the iron ore industry in Quebec in late September, according to Statistics Canada.

Railways loaded 24.4 million metric tonnes of freight, up 12.7% from September, indicates Statistics Canada’s monthly carloadings report, released this morning.

Freight reported as part of the non-intermodal loadings totalled 22.0 million tonnes, up from 19.4 million tonnes.

“Iron ore loadings picked up after the end of a strike in the Quebec North Shore region that lasted several weeks.
Apart from iron ore, wheat, canola and coal loadings showed the biggest increases in tonnage. Just over 278,000 carloads were required to carry the non-intermodal freight in October,” Statistics Canada noted in its report.

The intermodal portion, that is, containers and trailers hauled on flat cars, rose 6.9% from September to 2.4 million tonnes.

Freight arriving from the United States, either destined for or passing through Canada, also totalled 2.4 million tonnes, up 8.3% from September.

Non-intermodal tonnage was up 1.6% compared with October last year. Intermodal traffic decreased 1.0%, while traffic received from the United States dropped 1.7%.

On a year-to-date basis, the cumulative total for non-intermodal loadings for the first 10 months of 2004 grew 6.4% compared with the same period last year. Tonnage rose from 193.0 million tonnes in 2003 to 205.5 million tonnes this year.

Intermodal loadings increased 1.4% to 22.2 million tonnes, while traffic received from the United States was up 3.3% over the same period to 22.3 million tonnes.

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