OTTAWA, ONTARIO, CANADA — Western Canada is moving more grain in a faster and more efficient manner, based on figures from the Canadian Grain Commission and the nation’s two largest rail companies, Western Producer reported.
More than 40 million tonnes of grain, pulses and oilseeds have been exported from Canada as of July 21. This include 23 million tonnes of grain shipped through Vancouver export terminals, an increase of 6% from 2017-18, and 6 million tonnes shipped through Prince Rupert, an increase of 16%, the newspaper reported.
CN and Canadian Pacific have increased their expected maximum weekly hopper car spot targets for the crop year. CP will spot up to 5,700 grain hopper cars per week from August through late-December and from April to the end of July, subject to demand. Last year, CP targeted 5,500 cars per week.
CN also has adjusted its maximum car spot number to 5,650 per week, up from 5,500 per week in 2018-19 and 4,150 cars per week during the winter, up from 4,000, Western Producer said.
Canada’s largest railway companies both had record-setting years in terms of total grain movements during the 2018-19 crop year. CP’s total shipments in the 12-month period ended July 31, 2019, were 26.8 million tonnes, the company said.
CN also set an all-time record, moving more than 27 million tonnes of grain and grain products, compared to the previous record of roughly 26 million tonnes in 2016-17.
CN’s 2018-19 figures include grain and processed grain products moved in hopper cars, box cars and tanker cars, but they do not include grain shipped in intermodal containers, which represents another million tonnes or more.