Canadian Pacific announced yesterday it moved 26.8 million metric tonnes (MMT) of Canadian grain and grain products during the 2018-2019 crop year, a 2.8 percent increase over the previous year and an all-time record for the Class I.
The amount of grain and grain products shipped during the year, which ran Aug. 1 through July 31, was 3.9 percent more than the railroad's three-year average. Over the past five years, CP has consistently shipped more grain each year, CP officials said in a press release.
CP broke several records during the just-concluded crop year, including:
• A record May for grain products, not including whole grains, both from a carload and a volume perspective;
• In April, achieved an all-time record month for Canadian grain and grain products, moving 2.643 MMT; and
• For the first time ever, recorded three consecutive months (September through November 2018) shipping 15,000-plus carloads of western Canadian grain and grain products to the Port of Vancouver.
CP also moved 660,000 MT of Canadian grain in its domestic intermodal service, for a grand total of more than 27.4 MMT.
"CP's record performance and focus on innovation supports the entire grain supply chain in moving increased volume," said Joan Hardy, CP vice president of sales and marketing, grain and fertilizers.
The railroad worked closely with customers to bring commodities to the market "safely, reliably and efficiency," she added.
"Tight coordination across the supply chain enables maximum efficiency even during challenging winter months," Hardy said.
CP's 8,500-foot, high efficiency product (HEP) train model — which the Class I announced in summer 2018 — is gaining "significant traction" with the railroad's customers, CP officials said.
Construction is underway at five CP-served facilities in Canada, which will enable producers to start shipping under the HEP train model this fall. Those will add to the seven existing CP-served 8,500-foot loop-track facilities.
Four additional 8,500-foot HEP-qualified facilities will be operating by spring 2020.
In addition, CP now has nearly 1,500 new high-capacity hopper cars in its fleet. By year's end, more than 1,900 of new hopper cars will be in service.
CP intends to increase the fleet in years ahead as part of its CA$500,000 million plan to invest in 5,900 new hopper cars. The cars will enable shippers to load up to 10 percent more grain in the new cars compared to the older ones they are replacing, CP officials said.