EDMONTON, ALBERTA, CANADA — Supply chain collaboration and information sharing will be essential in moving Western Canadian crop production of more than 60 million tonnes, one of the largest harvests in history, said Claude Mongeau, president and chief executive officer of CN.
"Our grain customers have advised us in recent weeks that they are raising their original forecasts for this fall's shipments, as well as the amount of grain they intend to export between now and the end of this crop year next July," Mongeau said. "The current grain crop is now forecast to be among the largest in history. This is very good news for all of us involved in the business. 

"Such a large crop will clearly challenge the entire supply chain. Meeting this challenge successfully will require all supply chain partners to come together in order to maximize end-to-end throughput on a consistent basis. Prompt car loading in the Prairies, steady railway movements from the country to port, and efficient car unloading at port terminals will be critical to solid hopper car fleet velocity so that the cars can be brought back to the countryside to meet new orders in a timely way. 

"All participants in the supply chain will have to up their game to move the crop to market on time, and on spec. CN is focused on port terminal unloading performance on the waterfront, maintaining a fluid rail operation, and sizing its hopper car fleet capacity at the level required to help keep the supply chain synchronized. Our C$100-million investment in increased rail capacity in the Edmonton-Winnipeg corridor this year will help CN handle strong volumes of grain and other commodities over the fall and winter seasons." 

Mongeau said the strong collaboration CN experienced with its supply chain partners in the fall of 2012 in moving significant volumes of grain to market bodes well for this fall. And he thanked partners who had invested in or secured incremental grain terminal capacity in Vancouver over the last 12 months. 

"True collaboration and information sharing along the entire supply chain will be the foundation for our joint success. CN is ready to play its role as a key supply chain enabler, helping Canadian farmers and our customers bring this record crop to world markets efficiently," Mongeau said.