Intermodal container volume eastbound from port of vancouver January 2023 through June 2024 CN and CPKC

Container Volumes Show Signs of Cooling

Total container volume through the western Canada ports fell to 87,500 containers in June, down from 95,000 containers in May. Decreases were seen across both railroads with CN registering the first month of lower container volume this year and CPKC adding a third consecutive month of falling volumes. 

Combined container volume through the Port of Vancouver was 70,280, down 6.9% from May. CN volumes  through Vancouver fell 8.4% and CPKC fell 4.6%.

Port of Vancouver

Current Status

On-dock footage has dropped to more manageable levels for both railroads, according to the Port of Vancouver’s June 28 update. Late April appears to have been the time of peak volumes so far this year. 

Recent weeks saw larger movements of platforms into and out of the Port of Vancouver area but the movements do not appear to be needed to clear backups at the port. 

Recent Surplus of Westbound Platforms v. Eastbound

Week

CN 

CPKC

6/24/24 – 6/30/24

(530)

447

6/17/24 – 6/23/24

886

165

6/10/24 – 6/16/24

(599)

(103)

6/3/24 – 6/9/24

(205)

304

5/27/24 – 6/2/24

173

(37)

5/20/24 – 5/26/24

(138)

(188)

6-month weekly average

(14)

33

 

 

Platform surplus to port of vancouver January 2024 to June 30 2024 CN and CPKC

Total Train Volumes

Total intermodal train volume out of the Port of Vancouver fell 7.5% in June, with a 6.9% decrease on CN, and an 8.2% decrease on CPKC.

Intermodal train volume from Port of Vancouver Eastbound January 2023 to June 2024

Canadian National

CN moved an average of 4.47 trains per day in June, down 3.8% from daily train volume in May and up 20.7% from June 2023. 

Average train size marginally increased from the prior month, with 4 more platforms per train, but containers per train fell slightly, from 311 containers per train in May to 306 in June.

Containers per train January 2023 to June 2024 CN compared to 2023 average

Canadian Pacific – Kansas City

CPKC daily train volume in June was 8.2% lower than May and down 19.8% compared to a year ago. Average train size was slightly larger in June, with 12 additional containers per train and 6 additional platforms.

Containers per train January 2023 to June 2024 CPKC compared to 2023 average

Prince Rupert

Container volume through Prince Rupert also fell after 4 straight months of growing volumes. In June, 17,221 containers moved eastbound from Prince Rupert, down from 19,305 in May. Despite the 10.8% decrease from the prior month, container volume was still up 11.8% from June 2023. 

Daily train volume fell slightly, from 2.16 trains per day in May to 2.00 trains per day in June. The average train size was the same in June as in May, with 136 platforms and 287 containers per train.

June 2024 Intermodal container volume through Prince Rupert on CN Total Container Volume and Average Daily Train Volume

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