Canadian National Railway - CN - For The Railroad Industry Professional
Canadian National Railway (CN) operates the largest rail network in Canada. The railroad serves ports on the Atlantic, Pacific and U.S. Gulf coasts while linking customers in Canada, the United States and Mexico. Canadian National Railway, which operates about 20,600 route miles, serves nearly 75 percent of the U.S. population and all major Canadian markets. These days, it's more commonly known (and branded) as "CN."
Company officers include Claude Mongeau, president and chief executive officer; Keith Creel, executive vice president and chief operating officer; Sean Finn, executive vice president, corporate services and chief legal officer; Luc Jobin, executive vice president and chief financial officer; and Jean-Jacques Ruest, executive vice president and chief marketing officer.
In 2011, Canadian National Railway (CN) posted record revenue of C$9.03 billion. Carloadings rose 4 percent to 4.9 million units and revenue ton-miles increased 5 percent to 187,753. The railroad's 2011 operating ratio was 63.5. Canadian National Railway employs nearly 22,000 people in Canada and the United States.
In Canadian National Railway's (CN) Western Region — which serves the Port of Vancouver and is the exclusive rail link to Prince Rupert, British Columbia — the railroad carries bulk export commodities such as grain and fertilizers, coal, potash and sulfur; and forest products, petroleum and chemicals, and intermodal freight destined for international and North American domestic markets. The railroad also carries metals and construction materials to serve the Alberta Oil Sands development.
In the Eastern Region — which serves the ports of Montreal, Saint John, New Brunswick and Halifax — the railroad carries automotive, intermodal, ferrous and non-ferrous metals, petroleum and chemicals, and forest products carloads.
In the Southern Region — which serves the Gulf ports of Mobile, Ala., and New Orleans, and the river ports of Memphis, Tenn., and Baton Rouge, La. — the railroad hauls automotive, iron and steel, petroleum and chemicals, forest products, coal, fertilizers and grain carloads.
Canadian National Railway (CN): A Bit of Post-Privatization History
In 1994, Canadian National Railway (CN) and Canadian Pacific were exploring the possibility of merging their respective eastern operations, but the two railroads dropped the merger talks — instead, Canadian National Railway (CN) strategists embarked on a plan to privatize the railroad, which had operated as a Crown corporation since 1918. The result: a wildly successful public stock offering in 1995.
At that time, Paul Tellier served as the railroad's president and chief executive officer. He promised that Canadian National Railway (CN) would be profitable; a year after the stock offering, it was. Under the guidance of the hard-driving Tellier ("The faster you change, the more successful you are," he told Progressive Railroading in March 1999), Canadian National Railway (CN) pushed north and south. In 1998, the railroad entered into a marketing alliance with Kansas City Southern. During the next decade, the Class I acquired Illinois Central Corp. (IC) in 1998, Wisconsin Central Ltd. in 2001, Great Lakes Transportation L.L.C. in 2004, B.C. Rail Ltd. in 2004 and the Elgin, Joliet and Eastern Railway Co. in 2009.
The 1998 deal to acquire industry operating-ratio leader IC also brought E. Hunter Harrison into the fold as chief operating officer. That same year, Canadian National Railway (CN) became a "scheduled railroad" — adhering to velocity, dwell time and general-purpose train standards.
In 2003, Harrison was named the railroad's president and CEO, replacing Tellier, who had left to become CEO at Bombardier Inc.
As CEO, Harrison hammered home a continuous-improvement message while managing the company based on five guiding principles: service, cost control, asset utilization, safety and people. In the meantime, the "scheduled railroading" concept had been redubbed "precision railroading." Although Canadian National Railway's (CN) cost-control and asset utilization successes got most of the ink, it was in the "people" realm where the railroad continued to break ground, Harrison and his executive team believed.
In his first couple years at the helm, Mongeau has kept the railroad on track in terms of operational efficiency and service performance. He also has worked to instill a focus on supply chain collaboration, which has netted a series of terminal service level agreements, an end-to-end coal plan and a scheduled grain plan.