The railway shipped more than 2 million metric tonnes of grain during the month
By Diego Flammini
One of Canada’s national railways is celebrating a milestone achievement.
Canadian Pacific (CP) set a company record for the most amount of grain shipped in one month.
The railway transported 2.64 million metric tonnes of grain in October, making it “CP’s biggest month ever for moving Canadian grain,” CP said in a statement Tuesday.
Its previous record was about 2.34 million metric tonnes in September 2017.
Earlier in the year, the federal government mandated that CP and CN provide detailed plans on how to improve grain movement after a backlog last winter.
CP committed to investing around $500 million into 5,900 new hopper cars. About 500 of them will be in service by the end of the year.
The grain shipment record is an indication the railway’s plans are meeting the ag industry’s needs, said Joan Hardy, CP’s vice president of sales and marketing for its grain and fertilizer division.
“This accomplishment is a testament to the hard work and dedication of our operating team and the power of our operating model,” she said in Tuesday’s statement. “This requires laser-sharp focus on the supply chain details, and close collaboration with customers, elevators and ports. Together, through hard work and open communication, the system has been operating with maximum velocity and fluidity.”
The question now is if CP will be able to maintain this level of operation.
Setting records is great when there’s attention on the railway, but how it operates after the spotlight dims will be important, said Stephen Vandervalk, a wheat grower from Fort Macleod, Alta.
“They’re definitely doing a better job, but this always happens when something changes,” he told Farms.com. “They need to make sure they don’t fall back into an old routine in 18 months and we’re in the same (backlog) situation we were in before.”