Railways, goods transported (million ton-km) - Country Ranking

Definition: Goods transported by railway are the volume of goods transported by railway, measured in metric tons times kilometers traveled.

Source: Internation Union of Railways (UIC)

See also: Thematic map, Time series comparison

Find indicator:
Rank Country Value Year
1 United States 2,525,217.00 2018
2 Russia 2,491,876.00 2017
3 China 2,238,435.00 2018
4 Cameroon 812,416.00 2018
5 India 620,175.00 2017
6 Canada 540,141.00 2015
7 Kazakhstan 206,258.00 2017
8 Ukraine 191,914.00 2017
9 South Africa 113,342.00 2008
10 Mexico 73,878.97 2015
11 Germany 70,614.00 2017
12 Australia 59,649.18 2011
13 Belarus 52,573.70 2018
14 Iran 30,299.00 2017
15 Poland 28,720.00 2015
16 France 24,598.00 2014
17 Uzbekistan 22,940.00 2017
18 Japan 21,265.00 2016
19 Lithuania 16,885.00 2018
20 Austria 16,052.04 2015
21 Mongolia 13,493.00 2017
22 Turkmenistan 13,327.00 2017
23 United Kingdom 12,511.87 2008
24 Latvia 12,186.00 2018
25 Turkey 12,058.00 2018
26 Czech Republic 11,819.00 2017
27 Sweden 11,725.00 2008
28 Finland 11,030.00 2018
29 Italy 9,478.00 2018
30 Brazil 9,393.50 2007
31 Switzerland 8,255.53 2018
32 Pakistan 8,080.00 2018
33 Romania 7,994.00 2018
34 Korea 7,878.00 2018
35 Mauritania 7,535.70 2010
36 Indonesia 7,166.00 2010
37 Slovak Republic 6,729.20 2018
38 Spain 6,361.12 2018
39 Estonia 4,807.00 2012
40 Azerbaijan 4,633.00 2017
41 Slovenia 4,389.65 2018
42 Netherlands 4,331.00 2004
43 New Zealand 4,078.00 2000
44 Vietnam 3,989.00 2018
45 Morocco 3,485.00 2018
46 Serbia 3,287.80 2017
47 Gabon 3,210.58 2018
48 Georgia 2,963.00 2017
49 Belgium 2,888.00 2014
50 Bulgaria 2,727.65 2018
51 Thailand 2,562.00 2011
52 Norway 2,395.00 2005
53 Guatemala 2,207.00 2000
54 Syrian Arab Republic 2,206.30 2010
55 Portugal 2,063.74 2011
56 Denmark 2,030.00 2004
57 Chile 1,935.00 2004
58 Saudi Arabia 1,852.47 2010
59 Argentina 1,814.00 2005
60 Croatia 1,810.00 2018
61 Egypt 1,592.14 2010
62 Zimbabwe 1,580.00 2007
63 Kenya 1,399.00 2004
64 Israel 1,381.00 2017
65 Cuba 1,351.10 2007
66 Malaysia 1,234.00 2017
67 Tanzania 1,196.00 2004
68 Mozambique 1,193.40 2011
69 Bosnia and Herzegovina 1,176.72 2018
70 Bangladesh 1,053.00 2016
71 Algeria 1,009.00 2017
72 Moldova 971.00 2017
73 Kyrgyz Republic 935.00 2017
74 Myanmar 885.00 2004
75 Eswatini 862.00 2011
76 Armenia 689.46 2017
77 Côte d'Ivoire 675.00 2005
78 Botswana 674.00 2007
79 Tunisia 664.00 2015
80 Peru 599.00 1998
81 Greece 538.12 2009
82 Hungary 446.84 2015
83 Senegal 384.00 2006
84 Jordan 344.10 2010
85 North Macedonia 307.16 2018
86 Zambia 297.00 2017
87 Uruguay 284.00 2007
88 Congo 257.00 2009
89 Iraq 249.46 2010
90 Uganda 218.00 2002
91 Luxembourg 189.00 2009
91 Mali 189.00 2002
93 Dem. Rep. Congo 188.05 2018
94 Ghana 181.00 2006
95 Montenegro 168.90 2017
96 Tajikistan 165.00 2017
97 Sri Lanka 127.39 2015
98 Madagascar 122.34 2014
99 Djibouti 118.00 2005
100 Ireland 100.00 2017
101 Cambodia 92.00 2003
102 Venezuela 81.07 2006
103 Nigeria 76.93 2005
104 Albania 46.00 2009
105 Hong Kong SAR, China 41.00 1995
106 Benin 36.00 2006
107 Sudan 33.90 2013
108 Malawi 33.00 2007
109 El Salvador 13.00 1996
110 Burkina Faso 0.84 2007
111 Philippines 0.76 2004

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Development Relevance: Transport infrastructure - highways, railways, ports and waterways, and airports and air traffic control systems - and the services that flow from it are crucial to the activities of households, producers, and governments. Because performance indicators vary widely by transport mode and focus (whether physical infrastructure or the services flowing from that infrastructure), highly specialized and carefully specified indicators are required to measure a country's transport infrastructure. The railway transport industry a vital engine of global socio-economic growth. It is of vital importance for economic development, creating direct and indirect employment, supporting tourism and local businesses. Economic growth, technological change, and market liberalization affect road transport throughout the world. Railways have helped in the industrialization process of a country by easy transportation of coal and raw-materials at a cheaper rate. As railways require huge capital outlay, they may give rise to monopolies and work against public interest at large. Even if controlled and managed by the government, lack of competition sometimes results in inefficiency and high costs. Also, many times it is not economical to operate railways in sparsely settled rural areas. Thus, in many developing countries large rural areas have no railway even today. Rail transport is a major form of passenger and freight transport in many countries. It is ubiquitous in Europe, with an integrated network covering virtually the whole continent. In India, China, South Korea and Japan, many millions use trains as regular transport. In the North America, freight rail transport is widespread and heavily used in for transporting gods. The western Europe region has the highest railway density in the world and has many individual trains which operate through several countries despite technical and organizational differences in each national network. Australia has a generally sparse network, mostly along its densely populated urban centers. Bulk freight handling is a key advantage for rail transport. Low or even zero transshipment costs combined with energy efficiency and low inventory costs allow trains to handle bulk much cheaper than by road. Typical bulk cargo includes coal, ore, grains and liquids. Bulk goods can be transported in open-topped cars, hopper cars and tank cars. Container trains have become the dominant type in the US for non-bulk haulage.

Limitations and Exceptions: Unlike the road sector, where numerous qualified motor vehicle operators can operate anywhere on the road network, railways are a restricted transport system with vehicles confined to a fixed guideway. Considering the cost and service characteristics, railways generally are best suited to carry - and can effectively compete for - bulk commodities and containerized freight for distances of 500-5,000 kilometers, and passengers for distances of 50-1,000 kilometers. Below these limits road transport tends to be more competitive, while above these limits air transport for passengers and freight and sea transport for freight tend to be more competitive. Data for transport sectors are not always internationally comparable. Unlike for demographic statistics, national income accounts, and international trade data, the collection of infrastructure data has not been "internationalized."

Statistical Concept and Methodology: Freight traffic on any mode is typically measured in tons and ton-kilometers. A ton-kilometer equals cargo weight transported times distance transported. For railways, an important measure of work performed is gross ton-kilometers, this measure includes rail wagons' empty weight for both empty and loaded movements. This measure of gross ton-kilometers is also called ‘trailing tons' or the total tons being hauled. Sometimes gross ton-kilometer measures include the weight of locomotives used to haul freight trains.

Aggregation method: Median

Periodicity: Annual