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Canadian Pacific touts record grain movements in January

CP also asks for help in reducing rain-induced loading delays at Vancouver

A Canadian Pacific train heads to its next destination. (Photo: Shutterstock/Ramon Cliff)

Canadian Pacific established a monthly record in January for how much grain it moved during the month.

CP (NYSE: CP) transported 2.29 million tons of Canadian grain and grain products in January. Since the start of the 2022-23 crop year on Aug. 1, CP has carried more than 15 million metric tons.

January’s total represents more than double what was shipped in January 2022, according to CP. Setting the record is also significant because rain in Vancouver, British Columbia, holiday closures and periods of extreme winter operating conditions slowed grain vessel loading, according to Joan Hardy, CP vice president of sales and marketing for grain and fertilizers.

CP attributed investments by both itself and grain producers as helping to boost volumes. The railway said it has invested more than CA$500 million in new high-capacity hopper cars in recent years, working with customers to boost supply chain capacity. 

“CP’s grain performance through January demonstrates the strength of our customers’ supply chains and the strong resiliency of our railway operations and effective winter planning, allowing CP to deliver for our customers,” Hardy said in a news release. 

Given CP’s experience at Vancouver in January, the railway urged the Canadian government and the industry to improve the ability to load grain vessels in the rain at West Coast terminals. Persistent rain delays not only constrain capacity in Vancouver but also disrupt the balanced cycling of rail cars from the Port of Vancouver back to the in-country grain elevators on the Canadian Prairies, according to the railroad. The rail delays also reduce velocity for grain trains. 

“CP appreciates the attention of both government and industry to this matter and looks forward to stakeholders finding pragmatic and safe solutions to maximize throughput for Canada’s export grain supply chain,” Hardy said.

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Joanna Marsh

Joanna is a Washington, DC-based writer covering the freight railroad industry. She has worked for Argus Media as a contributing reporter for Argus Rail Business and as a market reporter for Argus Coal Daily.