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Rail News: Rail Industry Trends

Report: Canada's rail rates among the world's lowest

RAC President and CEO Marc Brazeau
Photo – Railway Association of Canada


A consultant's report requested by the Railway Association of Canada (RAC) shows that Canada's freight-rail rates are the lowest of major market-based economies the firm surveyed, including in the United States.

The report by CPCS concluded that Canada's average freight-rail rate is 11% lower than that of the United States, according to an RAC press release.

Using publicly available data, the study surveyed 11 countries representing two-thirds of global gross domestic product. All of the countries are home to high-performing rail systems. The report found:

• In 2021, shippers paid 4.16 U.S. cents per revenue ton-mile on railways in Canada. Western grain shippers paid nearly 30% less than the average rate at just 2.97 cents per revenue ton mile; and
• Canadian freight-rail rates have grown more slowly than U.S. rates — 43% vs. 72% — over the past 33 years and at less than half the rate of commodity and general prices over that same period.

"We've known for a long time that Canada's freight railways are the safest in North America. They are also the most cost effective on the continent and have among the lowest rates in the world," said RAC President and CEO Marc Brazeau.

Titled International Comparison of Railway Freight Rates, the report can be downloaded here.