Freight rail usage and performance

National statistics logo

Quarterly and periodic (4-weekly) statistics on the volume of freight transported by rail and the punctuality of those services. Annual updates are made in Q4 to freight train volumes on the network in Great Britain, the market share for rail freight compared to other modes and the effect of rail freight on road haulage.

For details on how these statistics are compiled, please see our Freight quality and methodology report and for information on any revisions, please see our Revisions Log.

Data and reports that include previous statistical releases on Freight rail usage can be found on the National Archives.

If you have any questions or feedback on these statistics, please contact rail.stats@orr.gov.uk


Latest statistical release

Freight rail usage and performance 2020-21 Q3
Freight rail usage and performance 2020-21 Q3

Date published: 04 Mar 2021
Date next published: 27 May 2021

Key results

  • Freight rail usage and performance during the third quarter of 2020-21 was affected by the coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic. The lower number of passenger train services in operation led to improvements in freight performance. Freight usage has recovered in Q3 following the impact of Covid-19 in 2020-21 Q1 and Q2.
  • Total freight moved was 4.07 billion net tonne kilometres in 2020-21 Q3, an increase of 2.1% compared with 2019-20 Q3. Total freight lifted increased by 12% to 17.8 million tonnes in 2020-21 Q3.
  • Freight train kilometres dropped by 1.4% in 2020-21 Q3 compared with the same quarter the previous year, falling to 8.0 million kilometres.
  • The proportion of freight trains arriving within 15 minutes, as measured by the Freight Delivery Metric, reached 94.7%.