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Canadian rail freight traffic up 6.8% in June

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OTTAWA, Ont. -- Canadian rail freight traffic rose 6.8% in June from June 2011 to 27.2 million tonnes, according to a report from Statistics Canada. The gain was the result of increases in both domestic and international cargo loadings.

Over the same period, the industry's core domestic transportation systems, composed of non-intermodal traffic and intermodal traffic, increased 4.9% to 23.8 million tonnes.

Non-intermodal cargo loadings rose 4.2% to 21.2 million tonnes. The gain was the result of increased traffic in approximately half of the commodity classifications carried by the railways. The commodity groups with the largest increases in tonnage were coal, fuel oils and crude petroleum, and iron ores and concentrates.

In contrast, several commodity groups registered decreases. Loadings of wheat decreased the most, followed by sand, gravel and crushed stone, and colza seeds (canola).

Intermodal freight loadings rose 10.5% to 2.6 million tonnes. The increase occurred solely on the strength of containerized cargo shipments, as trailers loaded onto flat cars declined, StatsCan reports.

At an international level, total rail traffic received from the US advanced 22.2% to 3.4 million tonnes. The increase was driven by both non-intermodal and intermodal traffic.

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