Intermodal Container Volume eastbound from Port of Vancouver CN and CPKC

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

August saw 67,233 containers enter through the Port of Vancouver. This is a 55.0% increase over July, which had much lower volumes stemming from the work shutdown at the western Canada ports. Average daily volume was 2,201 containers per day, which is the highest daily volume since last September. 

The higher intermodal volumes seen in August are largely from the resolution of July’s backlog and not a change in overall intermodal trends. Intermodal traffic is still down from a year ago.

Differences Between Railways


CPKC significantly increased eastbound intermodal train volume in August, adding nearly 11 trains per week more than in July. The B.C. ports strike brought intermodal traffic to a crawl in the first half of July. CPKC also carried more containers per train in August (305), which is 97.6% of the peak container per train volume over the past year.

Total intermodal train volume eastbound from port of vancouver August 2022 to August 2023 CN and CPKC


CN trains averaged 295 containers per train in August. This is a 13.9% increase in containers per train from July. August 2022 saw 319 containers per train, the highest amount in the past year. CN is now at 92.4% of that volume.

Containers Per Train Intermodal Eastbound from Vancouver August 2022 to August 2023 CN and CPKC

Container Sizes

Both carriers move a similar proportion of 40-foot international intermodal containers. In August, CPKC’s domestic intermodal traffic accounted for 19% of traffic. CN’s intermodal traffic eastbound from the Port of Vancouver was more weighted toward international, accounting for 85% of CN’s total intermodal traffic.

Container Mix August 2023 CPKC
Container Mix August 2023 - CN

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