OTTAWA, Ont. — Driven by strong demand for Canadian raw commodities in Asian markets, the country’s railways carried more freight in March than they had for any March during the last five years.
Railways loaded more than 24.7 million metric tonnes of freight, a gain of 3.1 million tonnes or 14.1% from February, Statistics Canada reports. Loadings were up 1.3% over March last year.
During the first three months of the year, railways carried 67.6 million tonnes of freight, second only to the record high of 69.3 million tonnes set in the first quarter of 2000.
Loadings of coal, iron ore, potash, wheat and lumber continued to have the greatest influence on carloadings figures, accounting for just under 50% of all loadings in Canada.
Non-intermodal freight totalled 22.4 million tonnes, a 14.4% increase from February. About 280,000 railcars were required to move this freight.
The intermodal portion, that is containers and trailers hauled on flat cars, rose 10.9% to 2.4 million tonnes. Freight coming from the United States, either destined for or passing through Canada, reached 2.4 million tonnes, up 6.6%.
On a year-over-year basis, non-intermodal tonnage for March was up 1.0% from March last year. Intermodal traffic was up 7.3%, while traffic received from the United States rose 3.5%.
First-quarter results of 2005 show a 1.9% increase of non-intermodal traffic over the same period of last year, while intermodal traffic was up by 7.2%.
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