COMPETITION WATCH: Railway carloadings show strong gains

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OTTAWA, Ont. — The strong world demand for primary goods appears to have profited the Canadian rail industry in August as overall loadings increased 8.5% from an already strong July, according to Statistics Canada.

Intermodal loadings, that is, containers and trailers hauled on flat cars, rose 7.2% to cross the 2.4 million tonnes mark, their highest monthly volume this year, the government agency report in its Daily Bulletin today.

The demand for moving containers filled with finished goods coming from nations in Asia was higher than normal because of a labour dispute that hit the trucking sector at the port of Vancouver.

The non-intermodal portion of freight totalled 22.6 million metric tonnes, up 8.6% from July. About 285,000 railcars were required to load all of August’s non-intermodal freight.

Freight coming from the United States, either destined for or passing through Canada, reached 2.3 million tonnes, up 14.6% from July.

On a year-over-year basis, non-intermodal tonnage was up 15.8% from August 2004. Intermodal traffic was up 9.5% while traffic received from the United States was up 10.0%.

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