Domestic growth and the international decline continues
Year on year, the freight moved from April 2021 to March 2022 has shown an annual increase, based on some predictable commodities. Construction and oil and petroleum volumes each rose by almost a quarter compared with the previous year. Freight move has increased from the lower levels seen during the pandemic. Total freight moved was 16.87 billion net tonne-kilometers in the latest year, a rise of 11.3 percent compared with last year. It was 1.8 percent higher than two years ago (April 2019 to March 2020).
Leaving the country, however, was not so encouraging. International freight volumes decreased by over a third compared with two years ago. With the exception of International volumes, all commodities saw an increase compared with the previous year. In contrast, only metals, construction, and miscellaneous loads grew compared with two years ago. The strength of growth in the latter two categories ensured the overall increase in freight moved and the full recovery to pre-pandemic levels.
Home delivery is an untapped market
Miscellaneous loads, which the ORR designates as ‘Other freight’ has increased, suggesting that the industry is embracing a greater diversity of commodities and customers. Its volume moved increased by 16.1 percent compared with two years ago. This, says the ORR, was due to the continued demand for biomass and the initial recovery of automotive production. It can also be explained by an increase in the volume of household waste and construction waste.
As an indicator of the growth in online shopping, there is now a significant flow in packaging waste from home deliveries. While nay traffic is welcome, the industry has yet to grasp a significant part of the home delivery market, although it is recognized that ‘express logistics’ is a huge potential market for rail freight.