Despite “challenging conditions” during first-quarter 2021, CN reported delivering record Canadian grain movements in March, for the 13th consecutive month.
CN said it moved 2.95 million metric tons (MMT) of western Canadian grain last month, exceeding the previous record set in 2020 (2.74 MMT) and coming in 19% higher than the three-year average (2.47 MMT).
Even with “extreme temperatures” experienced across the CN network in February, first-quarter Canadian grain movements reached 8.2 MMT, which exceeded the previous first-quarter record of 7.0 MMT, set in 2017, and was more than 25% higher than the three-year average of 6.5 MMT, the railroad said.
During the 2020-21 crop year so far, CN reported moving 22.7 MMT of Canadian grain, a 19% increase compared with the previous year-to-date record of 19.1 MMT, which was set during the 2018-19 crop year.
As for containerized grain shipments direct from western Canada, they are on a record pace, approaching 800,000 metric tons crop year-to-date, in addition to the tonnage shipped from eastern Canada, according to CN.
“Since the beginning of 2021, Canadian grain farmers, along with all of our supply chain partners, have worked closely with CN’s railroaders to deliver record grain performance despite the pandemic and the very difficult operating conditions we faced in February,” said James Cairns, Senior Vice President, Rail Centric Supply Chain. “We are proud of these record results as we also respond to record demand for the movement of other commodities, such as potash, overseas and domestic intermodal, forest products, and propane. I want to personally thank CN railroaders and our agri-food supply chain partners for successfully delivering another record month of grain movement while keeping pace with higher than previous year’s overall traffic levels on CN’s network”