Railway Recession

CBJ — The COVID-19 pandemic has cast its pall on virtually every economic industry and one of the hardest hit is the commercial and industrial freight railway transportation sector.

The country’s two main railway operators — CN and CP — face uncertainty as freight volumes have decreased to record lows.

Volume has declined by nearly 20% year over year and the figures stand to get worse once April’s numbers are factored in.

The industrial supply chain has essentially ground to a halt in most business sectors.

Automotive shipments and container traffic have been hit hard after North American and Asian production hubs went into lockdown due to the virus. The plunge in oil prices and manufacturing mean crude by rail and metal shipments are also down significantly.