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Rail News: Canadian National Railway - CN

CN's Mongeau: Canadian supply chain needs to prep for healthy grain harvest

Current forecasts call for western Canadian crops to yield more than 60 million tons of grain, which would represent one of the largest harvests in history. So, supply chain collaboration and information sharing will be essential to transporting the commodity efficiently, said CN President and Chief Executive Officer Claude Mongeau in a press release issued yesterday.

"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," he said. "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."

Critical actions include prompt rail-car loading in the Canadian Prairies, steady rail movements from farmers and cooperatives to ports, efficient car unloading at port terminals and reliable hopper-car fleet velocity so cars can be brought back to producers to meet new orders in a timely fashion, said Mongeau.

"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," he said. "Our $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."

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