CP: 2.74 MMT of November Grain

Written by William C. Vantuono, Editor-in-Chief
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CP HEP (High Efficiency Product) unit grain train with new National Steel Car grain hoppers. CP photo.

Canadian Pacific moved more Canadian grain and grain products in November 2019 than any month in its history, delivering 2.74 MMT (million metric tons) and eclipsing its previous 2.66 MMT all-time record, set in October 2019.

Contributing to the record were more CP grain carloads unloaded at the Port of Thunder Bay during the week of Nov. 18-24 than in any prior week—a record 2,216 cars, surpassing the previous weekly record of 2,144 in Fall 2017. “Thunder Bay is a key shipping point for Canadian grain exports, and cooperation among all members of the Thunder Bay supply chain is helping to get more grain to market,” CP noted.

New National Steel Car 5,431cf grain hopper. NSC photo.

In addition, CP hosted an “Alberta Agriculture Round Table” meeting at Bowden, Alta., to discuss capacity gains in the grain supply chain. CP spotlighted its new 8,500-foot High-Efficiency Product (HEP) unit train operating model, which includes new high-capacity grain cars built by National Steel Car, Hamilton, Ont. These cars are shorter (56 feet vs. 59 feet, about 5%) and lighter, but with 15% greater cubic volume and 10% greater load weight (102 tonnes vs. 93 tonnes), than the cars being retired from CP’s fleet. Of 5,431-cubic-foot capacity, they feature a three-pocket design that can be loaded and unloaded more efficiently than the old four-pocket government cars. Shorter frames enable more cars in a train of the same length. CP debuted the HEP train at the G3 Pasqua grain elevator near Moose Jaw, Sask., in December 2018.

G3 Pasqua grain elevator. CP photo.

Round Table attendees discussed grain supply chain capacity and efficiency, including the “advantages of the HEP model and how to ensure all participants in the supply chain are aligning their organizations to maximize grain movement with CP,” the railroad said.

The discussion included agricultural industry representatives; senior Alberta provincial government representatives (Minister of Agriculture and Forestry Devin Dreeshen, Minister of Transportation Ric McIver and Member of Parliament for Red Deer-Mountainview Earl Dreeshen) and CP representatives from Operations, Sales and Marketing.

“CP achieved great things last month for the Canadian grain supply chain in close collaboration with our trusted supply chain enablers,” said Vice President Sales and Marketing, Grain and Fertilizers Joan Hardy. “The CP team will keep open the lines of communication with shippers and government leaders as we push to become even more effective and efficient to meet the growing needs of Canada’s agricultural sector.”

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