Canadian Pacific is ready to move the delayed Western Canadian grain crop to market, and is highlighting supply chain accountability with its supply chain scorecard. “We have all the assets in place to move the crop to market, but given wet weather, snow and other factors, the vast majority of the crop is not yet ready to move,” said CP’s CEO, E. Hunter Harrison. “While CP is just one part of the global supply chain, we are taking a leadership role in ensuring the supply chain works together so that the Canadian economy – including farmers and shippers – reaps maximum benefit.”
Despite forecasts for a record or near-record crop and CP’s early preparations, as a result of the delayed harvest year-to-date CP has moved less Canadian grain than in 2014-15 and less than the three-year average. In each of the last three full crop years, including during the extraordinary winter and crop of 2013-14, CP moved record volumes of grain. The grain supply chain in Canada, like most efficient supply chains, works best when demand is well-distributed throughout the year.
“We remain committed to working with the supply chain to move Canadian grain to market, as opposed to the finger-pointing of the past,” said Harrison. “Our supply chain is built to deliver grain throughout the year and depends on all the various pieces working together collaboratively. Our new supply chain scorecard will help tell that story while holding us and the rest of the supply chain accountable.”
Working in close collaboration with Canadian government officials, CP has been developing a system that will allow for open and transparent sharing of information to government on its grain movements. In addition to the information being shared with Transport Canada, and consistent with data provided post 2013-14 crop-year and the minimum mandate, CP is voluntarily launching a weekly supply chain scorecard Wednesday, October 19 at www.cpr.ca/grain. The scorecard will outline CP’s performance for the previous grain week and will include, when necessary, detailed information on any internal or external factors affecting grain movement.
CP continues to make significant investments in its infrastructure to move grain more efficiently. Over the past few years CP has invested record amounts of private sector capital into capacity-building improvements to meet the expanding needs of our 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.
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. As customers utilize these assets more effectively, through either investments or by operating more efficiently, they receive the direct benefit.
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.
CP also sent a letter to the federal ministers of transportation and agriculture outlining preparation for the crop year and calling for supply chain collaboration. It can be downloaded at www.cpr.ca/grain