World Grain - May 2018 - 46
FEATURE: MOVING CANADA'S GRAIN
The Port of
meet the growing
needs of grain
the port. Photo by
so trains won't exceed 8,500 feet even with the additional
"For every three trains we move today, we'll move two
trains," Hamilton said. "So, for the grain shipper, the numEHURIWUDLQVDQGPRYHPHQWVWKH\QHHGWRPDNHWR¿OOD
vessel starts to compress and shrink."
CP plans to spend between C$1.3 billion and C$1.5
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portion of that, about C$500 million, is tied to passage of
C 49. If passed by the government, the law would trigger
investment in new hopper cars to replace all of the existing government hopper cars, Hamilton said. The new
cars would be 56-feet long, high capacity cars, creating
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crew would move the train off the main rail line and
onto the elevator's loop. CP employees would get off
the train and get their required rest time, while elevator
employees took care of loading the grain. When the train
is ready 12 to 16 hours later, the same crew can get back
All of this activity takes place clear of the main track,
so other trains passing by won't have to stop and wait for
"The amount of savings in terms of cycle time that we
think will get developed through this model could be up
to two or three days," Hamilton said. "In a 10- to 14-day
There's no doubt railroads have a critical role to play
in the logistical management of grain from elevator to
port terminal. At any step along the way, from farmer
to elevator to railroad to port, there can be variables that
impact movement of grain.
"It has to be and needs to be a very integrated supply
chain," Hamilton said. "The tighter we work in terms
of visibility, information and communication, the more
successful we are in moving grain to market."
The variability in the size of harvest from year to
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end of October, the grain industry was saying the harvest would be around 64 million to 66 million tonnes,
but it actually came in at around 71 million tonnes.
That's a 10% increase in production the railroads have
to provide resources for.
"In our business, getting crews and adding power doesn't
happen overnight," Hamilton said. "The better visibility we
get to where were going to end up in total capacity helps
make our job easier and creates greater reliability."
PORT'S SUSTAINABLE EXPANSION
The Port of Vancouver also is expanding to meet the
needs of burgeoning grain and specialty crop shipments, but it must do so in the context of sustainability,
said Duncan Wilson, vice-president of corporate social
responsibility for the port.
In 2017, the port handled 23.6 million tonnes of
grain, an increase of 8.2% from the 21.8 million tonnes
handled in 2016. Wheat and canola volumes were up
7.9% and 2.7%, respectively. Animal feed volumes
reached 1.2 million tonnes, an increase of 106.9%,
most of it headed to China and Vietnam.
Overall cargo traded through the port reached a new
record of 142.1 million tonnes, a 5% increase from the
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increase of 11% in 2017 to reach new record of 3.3 milOLRQ7(8VZLWKORDGHGLPSRUWVXSE\
:LWKWKHVHQHZFDUJRUHFRUGVDQGVLJQL¿FDQWLQFUHDVes in grain volumes, there is a lot of attention focused
on the port, he said. The port is required to protect the
May 2018 / World Grain / www.World-Grain.com