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CN implements new coal supply chain approach

CN recently announced it has implemented a comprehensive new supply chain approach for managing the flow of coal from mines to west cost terminals. And it’s helping the Class I improve service to coal customers and increase their volumes to Asian markets, CN said.

The railroad is using a series of clear metrics to make the supply chain more transparent to CN managers. A weekly report shows how much coal is on hand at export terminals and mines, the arrival date of vessels at the ports, the amount of coal being shipped from mines, and the number of trains en route to and from the mines.

“This end-to-end view of our coal supply chain, along with a focus on closer customer collaboration, improves coal logistics, which in turn allows coal producers to maximize sale opportunities,” said CN Vice President of Bulk Commodities Andy Gonta in a prepared statement. “This approach also positions the railway and its customers to anticipate and solve any bottleneck issues well before they reach the boiling point.”

CN’s new supply chain approach, rebounding Asian steel markets and business from new mines have combined to generate more coal shipments to western port terminals. Through 2010’s first eight months, CN’s west coast coal carloads to two terminals in the Vancouver area and one at Prince Rupert rose 91 percent.

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