CN yesterday unveiled its 2020-21 grain plan, and announced it set a new record by moving more than 30 million metric tons (MMT) of grain across Canada during the 2019-20 crop year.
In addition, CN announced that it is prepared to move up to 7,600 bulk and processed hopper cars per week outside of winter, and up to 6,100 per week during winter in the upcoming crop year.
During the 2019-2020 year, more than 28.2 MMT of grain moved from western Canada, as well as more than 1.1 MMT moved through intermodal containers.
The annual plan is prepared with input of key stakeholders through an open invitation on CN's website. The plan reviews CN's performance during the last crop year, assesses the railroad's ability to move anticipated levels of grain during the upcoming crop year, and explains specific steps that CN is taking to ensure it has the necessary capacity to move grain safely and efficiently, CN officials said in a press release.
"Although we achieved our best grain movement volumes in 2019-2020, we are far from complacent," said CN President and Chief Executive Officer JJ Ruest. "We remain committed to continue making capacity enhancing investments to our network and to upgrade our rolling stock, including the purchase of 1,500 additional rail cars manufactured in North America in 2020-21."
Last week, CN announced that it would acquire the 1,500 new generation, high-capacity grain hopper cars with a delivery starting in January 2021.
With the purchase of those cars, the Class I is "on our way to reach continuously improved performances," said Ruest.
"These investments benefit our grain customers as well as all those from the other sectors we serve," he said.
Over the past year, CN's Agricultural Advisory Council has been providing CN with feedback from the agricultural community, said council Chair Alanna Koch.
"Our input has improved CN's understanding of the issues that matter to farmers and has helped to contribute to better service," Koch said. "The challenges faced this year demonstrated how essential transportation is and how having a collaborate and resilient supply chain can keep goods moving."
The CN plan is available here.