Rail freight by commodity groups in 3Q 2022


During three quarters of 2022 187.4 m tonnes of freight were carried, while the transport performance amounted to 46.6 m tonne-km. In this period, coal, lignite, oil and natural gas and metal ores, mining and quarrying products commodity groups accounted for 61.1% of the total weight carried and 51.5% of the transport performance. During three quarters of 2021 it was 61.4% and 49.3% respectively. During three quarters of 2022 more than 64.8 m tonnes of coal, oil and gas and nearly 49.8 m tonnes of metal ores, mining and quarrying products were transported.

In 3Q 2022 a total of 62.3 m tonnes of freight was carried, with the transport performance of 16 bn tonne-km. The value of transport performance in 3Q 2022 was the highest since we started to publish quarterly freight statistics, i.e. since 2016.

When we compare these data with 3Q 2021, a drop in the total weight carried is over 0.6 m tonnes (-1%), but a rise in the transport performance is nearly 1.5 bn tonne-km (+10.4%). While the average haulage distance per tonne in 3Q 2022 was 257 km, it was 231 km in 3Q 2021.

Rail freight operators are able to adapt to changing conditions, as shown in the changes in transport of different commodity groups. By the end of September 2022, over 4.6 m tonnes of agriculture, hunting, forestry, fishing and fisheries products had been transported. It is an increase of more than 62% compared to the whole of 2021. The grain shipments within this commodity group are 2.7 m tonnes, which is similar to the weight of grain transported in the last four years. In 3Q 2022, rail operators carried aggregates, sand, gravel in volumes comparable to the record-breaking 2018. All these data allows us to look at rail as a mode of transport which has a potential in transporting different groups of goods – for the food industry as well as for the construction or energy sectors. It is crucial to ensure high quality and predictability of transport services – travel time, travel speed and safety – comments Ignacy Góra, President of the Office of Rail Transport.

The largest shares of the individual commodity groups by weight and transport performance in 3Q 2022 were:

  • coal, lignite, oil and natural gas group – 32.3% in weight and 24.4% in transport performance, i.e. 20.1 m tonnes and 3.9 bn tonne-km (of which 19.9 m tonnes and 3.8 bn tonne-km were in coal transport). Data on international rail freight show that 75.1% of the weight transported in this group was in domestic transport. The share of the transport performance in domestic transport amounted to 56.9%.
  • metal ores and other mining and quarrying products – 28.4% in weight and 27.9% in transport performance, i.e. 17.7 m tonnes and 4.5 bn tonne-km. The share of domestic transport for this group was 83.5% in weight and 75.8% in transport performance. Within this group, there are two sub-groups: iron ores, which accounted for 10% in weight and 17% in transport performance of this commodity group, and aggregates, sand, gravel, clays (79% in weight and 71% in transport performance of this commodity group). While there was a decrease in haulage of iron ores, the transport of aggregates had values close (99.8%) to the record-breaking 3Q 2018.
  • coke, briquettes, refined petroleum products, industrially produced gases accounted for - 12.4% in weight and 17.2% in transport performance, i.e. 7.7 m tonnes and 2.8 bn tonne-km. Domestic transport accounted for 64.2% in weight and 67.2% in transport performance of this commodity group.
  • the fourth largest commodity group was unidentifiable goods, which are usually transported by intermodal operators. The share of this commodity group was 9.1% in weight and 12.1% in transport performance, i.e. 5.7 m tonnes and 1.9 bn tonne-km. International traffic is crucial for this group, while domestic traffic accounts only for 17.6% in weight and 20.2% in transport performance.

Detailed data can be found on our statistics website Dane Kolejowe (Railway Data) in the Commodity groups section. 


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