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Canadian Pacific Moves Record Amount of Grain

Company moved 26.8MMT during 2018-2019 crop year

Photo: Canadian Pacific
Photo: Canadian Pacific

Canadian Pacific says it moved more Canadian grain and grain products during the 2018-2019 crop year than any year in its history.

The final tally for the crop year stands at 26.8 million metric tonnes (MMT) of Canadian grain and grain products.

The crop year, Aug. 1 to July 31, saw 2.8 percent more Canadian grain and grain products shipped from the prior record in the 2017-2018 season and 3.9 percent more than the three-year average. In the past five years, CP has consistently shipped more grain each year.

CP broke several all-time records during the 2018-2019 crop year, including:

  • A record May in 2019 for grain products, not including whole grains, both from a carload and a volume perspective.
  • In April 2019, achieved an all-time record month for Canadian grain and grain products, moving 2.643 MMT.
  • For the first time ever, recorded three consecutive months (Sept. – Nov. 2018) shipping 15,000-plus carloads of western Canadian grain and grain products to the Port of Vancouver.

CP also moved approximately 660,000 MT of Canadian grain in its domestic intermodal service, for a grand total greater than 27.4 MMT.

"CP's record performance and focus on innovation supports the entire grain supply chain in moving increased volume," says Joan Hardy, CP Vice-President Sales and Marketing, Grain and Fertilizers. "This past crop year, the 13,000-strong CP family was there to ensure even more Canadian grain and grain products moved to port for export, and to other destinations for processing. CP works closely with its customers to bring North American commodities to market safely, reliably and efficiently. Tight coordination across the supply chain enables maximum efficiency even during challenging winter months."

CP's 8,500-foot High Efficiency Product (HEP) train model, announced last summer, continues to gain significant traction with CP customers. Construction is currently underway at five CP-served facilities in Canada, enabling producers to start shipping under the HEP train model this fall. These add to the seven existing CP-served 8,500-foot loop-track facilities. Four additional 8,500-foot HEP-qualified facilities will be operating by spring 2020.

CP now has nearly 1,500 new high-capacity hopper cars in its fleet, and at year's end, more than 1,900 of the new hopper cars will be in service. The fleet will continue to grow in the years ahead, as part of CP's $500 million commitment to invest in 5,900 new hopper cars. Shippers are able to load up to 10 percent more grain in these cars compared to the older, less-efficient hopper cars they are replacing.

CP has submitted its 2019-2020 Grain Service Outlook Report to Minister of Transport Marc Garneau. The report outlines CP's plan to move the upcoming crop, including where CP will invest capital to support western Canadian grain movements. CP is closely watching crop forecasts for its service area, and is in regular communication with customers and the broader grain supply chain.

"We continue to make record investments in our network, hire more running trades employees to operate trains, and modernize locomotives to meet the needs of our customers and the North American economy," Hardy says. "CP has been moving grain for more than a century, and today more than ever, we are focused on driving the future of grain transportation for the benefit of the entire supply chain."

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