Oct 25, 2018 06:07 PM

Chart of the Day: Rail Freight Volume Grows Amid Pollution Fight

China’s ongoing battle against pollution has sparked something of a comeback for the country’s rail freight business.


The nation’s rail freight volume reached 342 million tons in September, the largest monthly volume since January 2014, according to the National Bureau of Statistics. Total rail freight volume for the first nine months of 2018 jumped 7.9% year-on-year to 2.97 billion tons.

To reduce air pollution caused by trucks, the government has been pushing for more cargo to be transported by rail and over water — and less over highways.

In its latest development plan (link in Chinese), authorities set a target to “significantly increase the volume of cargo carried by railways and waterways” by 2020.

Contact reporter Charlotte Yang (

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