April Intermodal Traffic Container Volume through Vancouver

RailState independently tracks all freight rail movements across Canada.

In April, more than 53,000 intermodal containers originated in Vancouver, resulting in a daily average volume of 1,775 containers per day. This represents a 0.93% increase in the daily average volume compared to March. 

Volume was lower at the beginning of the month and picked up in the last two weeks, most notably by CP, which increased daily average volume by 4.7% compared to March. CN ended the month down 2.4% in average daily container volume from the previous month. 

While March saw higher intermodal volume overall, with more than 54,500 containers originating in Vancouver, the 2.4% difference mostly came from the additional calendar day.

Differences Between Railways

For much of the past year, CN and CP ran similar numbers of intermodal trains out of Vancouver. The previous two months showed more significant variation but April was a return to near parity between the two carriers. 

In April, CN ran just less than 4 fewer trains per week than in March. CP ran about 1 fewer train per week in April compared to March.

RailState Intermodal Train Chart April 2023 Full Month CN and CP

The container size mix also differs between the two railways. The majority of containers in this lane on CN trains (64%) are 40’, 21% are 20’ containers, and 15% are 53’ containers. CP’s container mix also has a majority (63%) of 40’ containers, 20’ containers account for 16%, and 53’ containers account for a larger percentage (21%). 

Currently, CN and CP are running about 13.5% below their peak volume of the past year in terms of containers per train. 

RailState Intermodal Containers Per Train Chart April 2023 Full Month CN and CP

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