October Intermodal Western Ports CN and CPKC total volume and average daily volume

RailState, the rail industry’s only provider of real-time rail network visibility, independently tracks all freight rail movements across Canada in real-time. 

International Intermodal

Western Ports

Total average daily volume headed eastbound from the Western Canada ports grew 18.1% in October compared to September, and CPKC continued to increase its market share of international intermodal volume, partly through the use of larger trains. 

CPKC saw a larger increase in volume, improving 23.6% in October compared to a 14.2% increase for CN. With that growth CPKC increased its market share of intermodal from the western ports to 43.5%. In September, CPKC moved 42% of intermodal volume and earlier in the year was only moving about one third of international intermodal containers from the western ports.

The average containers per train dropped slightly for CN and increased on CPKC. CPKC trains carried an average of 14 more containers per train in October compared to September and it’s the first time this year that CPKC’s average intermodal train size was larger than CN’s.

Containers per train Western Ports October


International container volume through Halifax decreased slightly, with volume on CN dropping 4.4% from September.

International intermodal westbound from Halifax October 2023

Domestic Intermodal

Over the previous three months, CPKC carried 25,301 domestic (53-foot) containers from the Port of Vancouver area to the Toronto area. During that same period, CN moved 22,075 domestic containers. CPKC accounted for 53.4% of domestic containers that moved on rail from Vancouver to Toronto. In the final week of October, CN volume increased sharply, moving 1715 containers compared to 1074 for CPKC.

Domestic Container Volume By Week CN and CPKC October 2023

International/Domestic Breakdown By Railway

Based on movements from the Port of Vancouver, CPKC carried nearly twice the proportion of domestic containers than CN (18% to 10%) in September. In October, the railways moved closer to parity in their proportions of domestic intermodal. Domestic containers accounted for 15% of CPKC’s intermodal traffic from the Port of Vancouver and 12% of CN’s intermodal volume.

Int v Dom IM CPKC October
Int v domestic IM CN October

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