Posts Tagged ‘Canada’

Transborder Freight Value Down in February

May 8, 2021

The value of transborder freight moving by rail among the United States, Canada and Mexico in February was $12.8 billion, down 7.5 percent compared with January’s level and down 10.8 percent compared with February 2020, according to the U.S. Bureau of Transportation Statistics.

BTS said the decrease in rail between 2021 and 2020 was primarily due to a decline in motor vehicles and parts, the largest commodity moved across the border by rail.

The value of freight moved by all transportation modes among the three countries in February totaled $95.9 billion, up 1.7 percent compared to January, but down 0.1 percent compared to February 2020.

Freight moved by rail represented 13.4 percent of all transborder freight during February.

Between the United States and Canada freight moving by rail was worth $7.3 billion, down 1.2 percent from a year ago.

The value of freight moving by rail between the United States and Mexico in February was worth $5.6 billion, down 20.8 percent year over year.

Transborder Freight Fell in 2020

March 11, 2021

Freight moving among the United States, Canada and Mexico fell 13.3 percent in 2020  to $1.06 trillion the U.S. Bureau of Transportation Statistics said this week.

The comparison was with calendar year 2019. In a news release, BTS said total transborder freight in fell every month from the start of the COVID-19 pandemic until rising 0.4 percent in December.

Rail was the second-most used mode, handling $148 billion worth of freight in 2020, a 16.9 percent decrease compared with 2019’s level.

The value of freight moved by rail last year between the United States and Canada was $79 billion, down 18.3 percent, while the value of freight moved by rail between the United States and Mexico was $70 billion, down 15.3 percent.

The top three rail commodities in 2020, which represented 58.9 percent of transborder rail freight, were motor vehicles and parts, valued at $69 billion; mineral fuels, $10 billion; and plastics, $8 billion.

Value of Transborder Freight Rose in December

March 4, 2021

The value of transborder freight moving by rail among the United States, Canada and Mexico increased 1.6 percent to $14.1 billion worth of goods in December 2020 compared with November 2020 the U.S. Bureau of Transportation Statistics reported.

In a news release, BTS said that on a year-over-year basis, freight moved by rail in December decreased 2 percent in value.

The value of freight moved by all modes of transportation in December totaled $96.8 billion, an increase of 0.9 percent compared to the previous month and a gain of 0.4 percent compared  to the same month in 2019.

Rail was the second-most-used mode in December as measured by value, accounting for 14.6 percent of all transborder freight.

In December, $7.4 billion worth of freight was moved by rail between the United States and Canada, up 1.9 percent compared with the previous month but a decline of 7.4 percent compared with the same month in 2019.

The value of freight moving between the U.S. and Mexico was $6.8 billion, up 1.3 percent compared with the previous month and up 4.7 percent compared with December 2019.

Railroads May Benefit From Biden Pipeline Opposition

February 3, 2021

North American railroads might benefit from plans by the Biden administration to halt or curtail construction of crude oil pipelines.

Canadian National CEO Jean-Jacques Ruest said Biden’s actions, included cancelling a permit for the Keystone XL pipeline that was being built from Canada into the United States will have a positive effect on railroads.

The Keystone pipeline is designed to carry oil sands crude from Canada to refineries in the United States. 

Ruest said it would have been a few years before the Keystone pipe had been completed.

“So I think the positive impact on us might be a few years down the line,” Ruest said.

Canadian Pacific CEO Keith Creel said the actions being taken by the Biden administration in reviewing pipelines bodes well for railroads.

However both CEOs said that conventional crude oil by rail shipments will eventually shift to pipelines once capacity matches demand. 

Some crude oil cannot flow though pipelines and thus moves by rail.

In recent years the volume of crude moving by rail has diminished due to a collapse in energy prices.

Canadian authorities reported that between April and November last year Canadian crude-by-rail exports to the U.S. fell 70 percent.

Some existing pipelines and some in the building or planning stages carry Bakken crude oil from North Dakota.

If some of those projects are shut down that could net railroad more crude by rail business.

Transborder Freight Dropped 3.7% in November

January 30, 2021

The U.S. Bureau of Transportation Statistics said this week that the value of transborder freight moved by rail among the United States, Canada and Mexico decreased 3.7 percent to $13.9 billion worth of goods last November.

The comparison was with October 2020. On a year-over-year comparison, freight moved by rail in November 2020 was 0.8 percent less than in November 2012.

The value of freight moved by all modes of transportation among the three nations in November totaled $95.9 billion, down 6.1 percent compared with October and 3.2 percent compared with November 2019.

Rail was the second-most used mode in November as measured by value, making up 14.5 percent of all transborder freight.

In November, $7.2 billion worth of freight was moved by rail between the United States and Canada, down 5 percent compared with October but up 0.9 percent compared with the same month in 2019.

Between the U.S. and Mexico $6.7 billion worth of freight moved by rail, which was down 2.3 percent compared with October and down 2.5 percent compared with November 2019.

Trans-border Freight Fell in June

August 27, 2020

Trans-border freight the United States and Canada and Mexico fell 20.9 percent to $82.1 billion worth of goods in June compared with June 2019 levels the U.S. Bureau of Transportation Statistics said this week.

The figure represents freight moving by all modes of transportation.

Rail was the second-most used mode, handling $11.2 billion worth of goods during the month.

That figure was a decline of 29 percent on a year-over-year basis.

The bureau said rail represented 13.7 percent of all trans-border freight moved in June.

Compared with May, the $82.1 billion worth of goods moved by all modes rose 46.3 percent in June. For rail, the increase was 105 percent.

Year over year, freight moved by rail between the United States and Canada plunged 33.5 percent to $5.7 billion worth of goods in June.

Freight moved by rail between the United States and Mexico fell 23.6 percent to $5.6 billion worth of goods.

The top three rail commodities were motor vehicles and parts, worth $5.6 billion; computers and parts, worth $600 million; and plastics, worth $600 million.

Those top three commodities represented 60.7 percent of the total trans-border freight moved by rail.

Mexico Joins Rail Safety Week 2020

April 29, 2020

Rail Safety Week will observed this year in the United States, Canada and Mexico between Sept. 21-27.

It will be the first time that the Asociación Mexicana de Ferrocarriles (Mexican Association of Railroads—AMF) will join its U.S. and Canadian counterparts.

The week is designed to support the public awareness initiative to encourage drivers and pedestrians to practice safe behavior near railroad tracks.

OLI Executive Director Rachel Maleh said digital and downloadable versions of a report detailing results of the U.S. 2019 Rail Safety Week efforts are now available.

A centerpiece of Rail Safety Week since 2018 is the #STOPTrackTragedies campaign, which features videos telling the stories of people affected by rail crossing and trespassing incidents.

“Our 2020 Rail Safety Week efforts will be led by state coordinators across the U.S. to highlight crossing safety and rail trespass prevention in high-incident areas,” said Maleh.

“We’re excited to coordinate with Operation Lifesaver Canada and now, the AMF, through events, social media, news media outreach and paid marketing efforts.”

VIA Working to Finish Service Restoration

March 6, 2020

VIA Rail Canada is expected to have nearly all of its passenger trains rolling again by Sunday.

The carrier suspended most service and laid off 1,000 employees in the wake of blockades on Canadian railroads.

The blockades were led by protestors of a plan to build a natural gas pipeline across First Nation land in northern British Columbia.

The hereditary chiefs of the Wet’suwet’en Nation have opposed construction of the pipeline and most of the blockades were staged in support of their opposition.

The Toronto-Montreal VIA route will resume full service on Saturday while full service on the Toronto-Ottawa route will resume on Sunday.

The Canadian between Toronto and Vancouver resumed service on Wednesday.

Prince-Rupert – Prince-George – Jasper service remains suspended and VIA said it is working with host railroad Canadian National on a resumption timeline, VIA said.

All other VIA Rail routes are back to full service.

In a news release, VIA said it began canceling service on Feb. 13 and laid off employees starting on Feb. 19. VIA said it expects to recall the majority of those laid off.

Tentative Pact Reached to End Canadian Blockades

March 3, 2020

A tentative deal has been reached to end the blockades of Canadian rail lines by protesters opposed to construction of a natural gas pipeline in British Columbia.

However, some indigenous groups said they will continue to seek to block rail lines despite the pact.

The blockades have halted freight and passenger traffic on routes of Canadian National and Canadian Pacific and at one point disrupted Amtrak service into Canada.

News reports indicate that the deal will allow construction of the pipeline to continue but will address future land-rights disputes.

The pipeline is being built across land of the Wet’suwet’en First Nations group, whose ancesteral tribal leaders objected to the constructkion.

Other indigenous groups soon joined in the protests.

Leaders of the Wet’suwet’en said they would review the deal, a process expected to take two weeks.

CN has begun recalling some of its 450 laid off workers and VIA Rail Canada expects to restore this week most service that had been suspended.

VIA had canceled 940 trains through late last week.

The expected timetable for service restoration includes Montreal-Toronto and Ottawa-Toronto on, March 3; Senneterre-Jonquiere, Quebec, on Wednesday, March 4; the westbound Canadian on, March 4; and the eastbound Canadian on, March 6.

 

Blockades Continue to Slow Canadian Rail Traffic

February 28, 2020

Rail traffic remains in disruption mode in Canada even as the railroads have made progress in overcoming blockades put by protesters seeking to stop construction of a natural gas pipeline across First Nation land in northern British Columbia.

Police cleared protestors from a blockade near Belleville, Ontario, earlier this week, but another blockade remained in place on Mohawk land.

Even when they were not blocking tracks protestors in some area of Canada were setting fires adjacent to rail lines, which had the effect of stopping or slowing the movement of trains.

VIA Rail Canada has extended through March 1 the cancellation of service in the Toronto-Montreal, Toronto-Ottawa, and Senneterre-Jonquiere corridors.

Service to Prince Rupert in British Columbia has been canceled through at least March 4.

VIA said 859 trains have been canceled, which has affected 143,500 passengers.

Transport Minister Marc Garneau said the nation faces “many, many weeks” of delays as a result of the blockades.

He said recovery will be slow because there is “inertia in the system.

Some companies have virtually stopped their operations and 50 ships are waiting off the Pacific Coast to come pick up grain whose movement has been halted.