September 02, 2014 |
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North Dakota Delegation Criticizes Canadian Pacific

Says the railroad is forcing grain elevators to cancel backlogged orders as it implements a new shipping system

Members of North Dakota's congressional delegation are criticizing Canadian Pacific Railway, saying it's forcing grainelevators to cancel backlogged orders as it implements a new shipping system.

Sen. Heidi Heitkamp sent a letter to CEO E. Hunter Harrison on Thursday. The Democratic senator said last week the railway reported being behind from 200 to 2,000 cars.

Heitkamp said the company reports being behind around 50 cars this week. She said Canadian Pacific is making grainelevators cancel most of their open orders and the canceled orders are leaving large quantities to sit on roadsides.

Rep.. Kevin Cramer, R-N.D., said he has heard similar reports and said he will not "tolerate bullying" of the state's agricultural industry.

A BNSF report showed that there were 1,336 past-due cars averaging 10.2 days late in North Dakota as of Aug. 21. CP reported 10,266 open requests in North Dakota with an average age of 12.71 weeks.

"We think it's a good thing that they're trying to implement a car ordering system that will better help them manage demand and car orders," said Stu Letcher, executive vice president of the North Dakota Grain Dealers Association. "But we just want them to remember that there is still grain to move out there."

- Wire reports

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