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COMPETITION WATCH: Railway carloadings dip in July

OTTAWA, Ont. -- Canadian railways were quieter in July as freight activity in all three rail sectors declined after...


OTTAWA, Ont. — Canadian railways were quieter in July as freight activity in all three rail sectors declined after a busy June, Statistics Canada reported today.

In total, railways shipped 22.9 million tonnes of goods in July, a 7.1% decrease from June. However, the volume in June was the highest during any month of June for the past six years.

"Freight carried in July is often lower than in June because of the summer holiday season. Coal movements and iron ore shipments led July’s decline," Statistics Canada noted in its Daily Bulletin.

The non-intermodal portion of freight totalled 20.6 million tonnes, down 7.7% from June. About 255,000 railcars were required to load all of July’s non-intermodal freight.

Loadings of intermodal freight, that is, containers and trailers hauled on flat cars, fell 1.1% to 2.3 million tonnes.

Freight coming from the United States, either destined for or passing through Canada, reached 2.1 million tonnes, down 5.1%.

Iron ore shipments declined 18.4% to 2.5 million tonnes. However, shipments in June were higher than normal as a result of catch-up activities from a previous strike action.

Coal movements were down 7.5% while potash, at 1.2 million tonnes, continued a decline that started in early spring. July loadings of these commodities are often lower during the summer.

Loadings of wheat remained steady from June at just under 1.5 million tonnes.

On a year-over-year basis, non-intermodal tonnage was up 7.6% from July 2004. Intermodal traffic was about the same, while traffic received from the United States was down 1.7%.


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