World Grain - May 2018 - 44
FEATURE: MOVING CANADA'S GRAIN
a result just because of the size, it does consume a fair
amount of resources from a people, locomotive and
Cold weather, heavy snowfall and a large 2017 harvest
along with increased demand from intermodal freight
shipments and fracking sand from Wisconsin have been
causing rail capacity issues since September, according
to a report from the U.S. Department of Agriculture's
Foreign Agricultural Service (FAS). Shipments of oilseeds, grains and pulses are backlogged out of Thunder
Bay, Vancouver and Prince Rupert.
Producers were told grain that was expected to ship
months ago may not move until April, the report said.
Total grain volume at the three main ports are 5.5%
&DQDGLDQ1DWLRQDO¶V&1RYHUDOOFDURUGHUIXO¿Oment rate dropped to 56% in fall 2017, according
to the Ag Transport Coalition. CN and CP combined
provided only 38% of the railcars ordered by grain
shippers in the week of Feb. 12. CP delivered 66% of
its orders and CN delivered 17%.
The Canadian government has introduced the Transportation Modernization Act (Bill C-49) to provide
long-term solutions to the transportation issues, but is
still making its way through Parliament.
have struggled to move the Canadian harvest. In 2013-14,
the perfect storm of a bumper harvest and an extremely
to a loss of between C$6 million and C$8.5 million for
Canadian farmers. In response, the Canadian government
set minimum grain movements for a set period of time
and required monthly reporting on weekly rail car cycles
and the status of rail cars used to move grain.
Since 2012, CP's operating performance has been improving, Hamilton said. Train speed is up 23% while terminal dwell, the amount of time assets sit idle as they are
moving from origin to destination, was down 7%.
Fuel productivity improved 8% due to better
technology in the locomotives along with better
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2018 / World
Grain / www.World-Grain.com
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