Canadian Pacific is ready to move this year’s western Canadian grain crop, which is forecast to be significantly bigger than the five-year average. CP is calling on all supply chain partners to work collaboratively to continue moving record amounts of grain, as it did during 2013-14, 2014-15 and 2015-16 crop-years.
“To ensure success during this crop-year, the broader supply chain must work together to collectively harness our energy so that the entire Canadian economy can reap the maximum benefit,” said E. Hunter Harrison, CP’s CEO. “We have been preparing for this crop year for months and we are ready.”
The grain supply chain in Canada, like most efficient supply chains, works best when demand is well-distributed throughout the year. The rail supply chain has returned to normal since the extraordinary crop and winter of 2013-14 and CP has continued to move record amounts of grain. This means there is now excess capacity in the supply chain, including thousands of rail cars in storage ready to move the latest crop.
Over the past few years CP has invested record amounts of private sector capital into capacity-building improvements to meet the expanding needs of its customers. Recent supply chain partner investments are encouraging, especially in grain country elevator capacity and port capacity. These investments in all of the interconnected elements of the supply chain are critical to a strong, efficient and reliable system that has the capacity to move Canada’s grain crop each year. In order for the system to move record volumes of grain, it is essential that port terminals such as Vancouver operate on a 24/7 basis, remain fluid and that the seaway, especially the Port of Thunder Bay, be utilized to take pressure off Vancouver.
Grain is CP’s largest line of business. Grain movement for the 2015-16 crop year was flat relative to 2014-15, 4.7 per cent higher than our three-year average and 11.6 per cent above our five-year average.
CP’s development and innovation in its Dedicated Train Program (DTP) provides customers with greater clarity and control of car supply to manage their supply chain. CP has received positive feedback on this service which allowed customers to have a clear and guaranteed amount of rail capacity. Shippers who do not qualify for the DTP, or choose not to sign up for the program, can order cars in the open distribution program. Open distribution allows shippers to input orders for four times the car spot capacity at each facility at one time. As orders are filled new orders can be placed.