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Freight rail usage and performance

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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 methodology and quality 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 2019-20 Q4
Freight rail usage and performance 2019-20 Q4

Date published: 24 Jun 2020
Date next published: 24 Sep 2020

Key results

  • The total volume of rail freight moved dropped to 16.6 billion net tonne kilometres in the financial year 2019-20, its lowest total in 23 years, a 5% decrease from the total in 2018-19.
  • The total amount of freight lifted fell to 68.1 million tonnes, which is a 10% decrease from 2018-19 and is now the lowest total since 1984-85.
  • The Freight Delivery Metric (FDM) recorded its lowest quarterly percentage (91.1%), down 3.9 percentage points from 2018-19 Q4. The quarterly FDM moving annual average (MAA) was 92.8%.
  • The number of freight train movements was 209,281, a 5% decrease from 2018-19 and the lowest since the start of the time series in 2003-04. This represents a 50% decrease in the number of freight train movements compared to 16 years ago.