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Rail News: Shippers
Ag coalition unveils weekly performance report with rail service metrics
The Ag Transport Coalition yesterday released its first-ever weekly performance measurement report that includes a range of key service indicators, including rail-car demand, supply and supply timeliness, corridor performance, and railroad dwell times at origin and at destination.
The coalition includes the Canadian Canola Growers Association, Alberta Wheat Commission, Pulse Canada, Manitoba Pulse Growers Association, Western Grain Elevator Association, Canadian Oilseed Processors Association, Inland Terminal Association of Canada and Canadian Special Crops Association.
Performance data covers more than 90 percent of grain traffic in Canada using QGI Consulting's data collection services. Individual participants will have confidential access to performance information specific to their facilities, and coalition partners will receive aggregated data for the detailed industry performance report that will be made public each week.
"The first report confirms what ag stakeholder have insisted for some time: rail capacity simply isn't set at a level that meets demand," said Pulse Canada Chairman Nick Sekulic in a press release. "The report also supports concerns that timeliness of supply continues to be an issue."
The reports are part of a five-year transportation strategy and action plan made possible by matching funds from the ag industry and Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada. The measurement initiative builds on the Rail Freight Service Review Panel's recommendation in a January 2011 report that called for enhanced performance reporting, better shipment visibility for individual shippers, and better information for addressing systemic service and other public policy issues, Ag Transport Coalition officials said.
Coalition members look forward to advancing discussions with government and railroad officials on the next steps to ensure that the transportation system is meeting the needs of Canadian businesses, contributing to their competitiveness and supporting economic growth, they said.
CN is "fully in sync" with the grain supply chain in Western Canada, where end-to-end balance has been restored, CN officials said in an emailed statement.
The Class I also continues to register record-setting grain movements. So far, nearly halfway through the 2014-15 crop year, the railroad has spotted 16 percent more grain covered hoppers in Western Canada than in the last crop year, when Canada reached an all-time record for grain exports, CN officials said
The Class I's waiting list for western hoppers now is under 2,000 cars, representing just a few days of orders to fill, they said.
Contact Progressive Railroading editorial staff.