May Intermodal Traffic Container Volume through Vancouver

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

For the period May 1-15, 30,109 intermodal containers originated in Vancouver, resulting in a daily average volume of 2,007 containers per day. This represents a 10% increase in the daily average volume from April. 

Volume on CP increased in late April compared to earlier in the month and that trend has continued with CP traffic up 14% in the first two weeks of May. CN has increased traffic by 6.4% in May

Intermodal traffic through the first two weeks of May puts volume on pace to be the strongest month since October 2022. At the current rate of volume, May will see more than 60,000 intermodal containers coming through the western ports.

Differences Between Railways

In May, CN is running approximately 2 more trains per week than in April, and the same number of trains per week as in March. CP is on pace to increase volume by more than 4 trains per week.

RailState Intermodal Train Chart May 2023 Half Month CN and CP

The container size mix also differs between the two railways. The majority of containers in this lane on CN trains (68%) are 40’, 19.5% are 20’ containers, and 12.5% are 53’ containers. CP’s container mix also has a majority (67%) of 40’ containers, 20’ containers account for 15.4%, and 53’ containers account for a larger percentage (17.4%). 

Despite the strong increase in early Mat, CN and CP are still running about 13% below their peak volume of the past year in terms of containers per train.

RailState Intermodal Containers Per Train Chart May 2023 Half Month CN and CP

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