These Are Extraordinary Times

Written by Keith Creel, President and CEO, Canadian Pacific Railway
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Keith Creel

To critical healthcare workers, front line service providers, emergency agencies and personnel: Thank you for your ongoing dedication, determination and sacrifice in response to COVID-19. These are extraordinary times, and your heroic efforts are inspiring. I also want to thank those critical service providers working behind the scenes to ensure we have what we need every day. From railroaders and truckers to farmers and port workers and everyone in between, the supply chain is still working 24/7 to deliver for North Americans.

A fluid supply chain is something we take for granted. However, in the background, there are countless individuals responsible for its effectiveness; each person an essential link in the chain. This has been true for more than 100 years and is true today amidst COVID-19.

Since 1881, Canadian Pacific has been integral to the North American supply chain. Our purpose as a company is to provide safe and efficient transportation solutions to North America and the world. During these extraordinary times, safely delivering what North Americans need has never been more important. Alongside our Class I railroad peers and supply chain stakeholders, we can and will continue to deliver.

Behind every grain train, there are people. Behind every train carrying shipping containers full of groceries, pharmaceuticals and other essentials, there are people. At CP, people power the locomotives, not the other way around.

For the past three years, I have had the honor and privilege to serve as the President and CEO at CP. It is a position and a responsibility I do not take lightly. In my nearly 30 years of railroading, I have never seen a group of individuals so committed to collectively delivering for each other, our customers and the communities we operate in and through. We are a family of approximately 13,000 professional railroaders. CP pride is present in everything we do, and as CEO, I have never been prouder of the team than in this moment.

Even in this crisis, we have 10,000-plus people working on the front lines to move essential goods. They are operating trains, maintaining and inspecting track and repairing locomotives and railcars, among other critical tasks. These people cannot work from home. Without these men and women, North Americans wouldn’t have access to the basic staples needed to get through this pandemic. As millions function from workspaces in the safety of their homes, CP railroaders say goodbye to their own homes and families each day in order to provide a service for all of North America. It is not easy and no doubt causes a certain amount of anxiety. Yet, they are doubling down in the face of adversity to deliver, to provide. I sincerely thank all of these employees and their union leaders for their ongoing strength and commitment.

It’s impossible to know when this will all end or even what “normal” will look like after this is over. However, this I can tell you with certainty: As we have since 1881, CP will continue to be there for North Americans. We will learn from this, be stronger for it and more resilient. The pride that runs through this company and across the transportation supply chain will only grow. If you see a railroader, a trucker or another unsung hero providing an essential service, give them a wave. I know they will appreciate this simple show of gratitude.

I also challenge other companies across the supply chain to join us in a daily 7 p.m. local time salute to recognize critical healthcare workers, front line service providers, emergency agencies and personnel, and yes, the transportation supply chain. To these workers: The importance of your efforts right now to communities cannot be overstated. I hope you recognize how essential each of you is to this response. We salute and applaud your efforts. At CP, we are right there beside you, committed to delivering in this modern time of North America’s greatest need.

Categories: Class I, Freight, Intermodal, M/W, News, Regulatory, Short Lines & Regionals, Switching & Terminal Tags: ,