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3/1/2011



Rail News: Rail Industry Trends

Conference Board of Canada: More regulatory changes could boost grain transportation efficiency


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Although regulatory changes during that past decade have helped Canadian grain move more quickly from farmers' fields to ports, additional federal regulatory reforms aimed at increasing transportation efficiency would make Canadian export grain more competitive in world markets, according to a recent Conference Board of Canada report.

Regulatory reforms could include a more competitive tendering for the movement of Canadian Wheat Board (CWB) grains; a review of CN’s and Canadian Pacific’s annual grain revenue caps set by the Canadian Transportation Agency to determine impacts on railway investments; and better information flows between railroads and shippers, particularly about transit delays, the report states.

Titled “From Earth to Berth: Improving the Efficiency of Canada's Grain Supply Chain,” the report determined that varying transit times have been a recurring problem. CWB grains have typically spent more time in the supply chain than non-CWB grains, primarily because of longer storage times in country elevators, the report states.

"The parallel systems in place may be a contributing factor to the inefficiencies that remain,” said Len Coad, director of environment, energy and technology policy for the Conference Board of Canada, in a prepared statement. “A continued move in the direction of a more commercially-oriented regime may be able to yield further benefits.”


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