Rail Freight Market Size Expected to Grow by USD 29.29 Billion | Low rail freight cost to drive market growth

Key Market Dynamics:

Low cost of rail freight and strong investments in freight corridors are some of the key market drivers. The cost of transporting goods to remote locations by rail freight is lower than road and air freight. For example, the cost of transporting goods by rail freight between China and Europe is about 80% lower than air freight. In addition, the rise in fuel prices is leading to a surge in road freight charges and air freight operations. These factors are behind the popularity of rail freight services among shippers. Moreover, in domestic freight transport, rail freight is more economical than air and road transport due to the low direct cost associated with rail freight. These factors will have a positive impact on the rail freight market over the forecast period.

However, factors such as increasing maintenance expenditure will challenge the growth of the market. Another negative factor that is likely to hamper the growth of the global rail freight market during the forecast period is rising rail infrastructure maintenance costs and uncompetitive rail freight pricing. Railway maintenance cost includes the cost of upkeep and maintenance of trains, stations, loading docks and signaling systems. The average maintenance cost is around 25-30% of the total rail freight operating cost. Thus, the cost of maintenance of railway undertakings constitutes an important part of their expenses.

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Key Market Segment Analysis:

The Rail Freight Market report is segmented by Destination (Domestic and International) and Geography (APAC, Europe, North AmericaAME and South America). The domestic segment dominated the largest rail freight market share in 2021 and will continue to account for the largest share during the forecast period. The growth of this segment cannot be attributed to the preference for rail freight by end users due to the low direct cost associated with rail freight in freight transportation. In addition, rail freight offers a strong and safe solution for transporting flammable goods such as oil, petroleum, natural gas, coal products, chemicals and other derivatives of crude oil.

In terms of geography, APAC will be the leading region with 34% market growth over the forecast period. The region will account for the highest market revenues during the forecast period, mainly due to the decline in the cost of rail freight transport and the significant increase in cross-border industrial and commercial activities in developing countries in the world. ‘APAC, such as China and other countries China, Indiaand Japan are the main rail freight markets in APAC.

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Analysis of the main players in the market

The rail freight market is fragmented and the vendors are deploying various organic and inorganic growth strategies to compete in the market. Companies in the market are eager to launch innovative solutions to gain a head start in the market. They also engage in mergers and acquisitions to strengthen their leadership and market presence.

Strategic initiatives: In July 2021, CSX Corp. acquired Quality Carriers Inc., a leading North American supplier of bulk liquid chemical trucking. In November 2021, the company acquired Pan Am Railways Inc. in New England. In October 2021, WSP Global Inc. acquired Englekirk, a services company. In April 2021the company acquired b+p baurealisation, an engineering and consulting company with 100 employees.

Some Other Dominating Players Covered in this report are:-

    • BNSF railway company.
    • Brookfield Business Partners LP
    • Canadian National Railway Company.
    • Canadian Pacific Railway Ltd.
    • Colas S.A.
    • CSX Corp.
    • Dassault Systemes SE
    • Deutsche Post AG
    • SNTFM CFR Marfa SA
    • WSP Global Inc.
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Rail Freight Market Scope

Report cover


Page number


base year


Forecast period


Growth momentum and CAGR

Accelerate at a CAGR of 2.15%

Market Growth 2022-2026

$29.29 billion

Market structure


Annual growth (%)


Regional analysis

APAC, Europe, North America, MEA and South America

Successful market contribution

APAC at 34%

Main consumer countries

China, USA, India, Germany and Japan

Competitive landscape

Leading companies, competitive strategies, scope of consumer engagement

Profiled companies

BNSF Railway Co., Brookfield Business Partners LP, Canadian National Railway Co., Canadian Pacific Railway Ltd., Colas SA, CSX Corp., Dassault Systemes SE, Deutsche Post AG, SNTFM CFR Marfa SA and WSP Global Inc.

Market dynamics

Parent Market Analysis, Market Growth Drivers and Barriers, Fast and Slow Growing Segment Analysis, Impact of COVID-19 and Future Consumer Dynamics, Market Condition Analysis for the forecast period.

Personalization area

If our report does not include the data you are looking for, you can contact our analysts and customize the segments.

Main topics covered:

  • Summary
  • Market landscape
  • Market sizing
  • Five forces analysis
  • Market segmentation by destination
  • Customer landscape
  • Geographic landscape
  • Supplier Landscape
  • Vendor analysis
  • appendix

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