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A Grain-Move First: CN, CP Exceed 3 MMT in October

Written by Marybeth Luczak, Executive Editor

CN and Canadian Pacific (CP) each moved more than 3 million metric tons (MMT) of grain in October—a first, as neither had ever exceeded that amount in one month.

CN moved 3.27 MMT of Canadian grain in October, beating the previous record of 2.88 MMT, set in October 2019, by 13.5%. This performance follows seven straight months of record grain movement (March-September).

The railroad also reported that it has received 100 out of 1,500 recently ordered new-generation, high-capacity grain hopper cars, and expects another 500 to be in service by the end of the year. These new 5,431 cubic-foot cars can carry about 10% more grain than older generation cars. This order follows CN’s 2018 order for 1,000 grain cars, all of which are in service.

Rob Reilly, CN Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer

“Our devotion to moving the North American economy remains unwavering and this new unprecedented record is further proof of the essential role we play in the global supply chains,” Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer Rob Reilly said. “The expedited delivery of the new hopper cars also reiterates our commitment to being ready for 2021 and beyond with additional capacity and confidence in our ability to deliver safely for our customers, the economy and the communities we serve. I want to thank the CN ONE TEAM and Canadian grain farmers for their work and dedication in these difficult times. Without their collaboration and support, these records would not be possible.”

CP moved 3.04 MMT of Canadian grain and grain products last month. The railroad’s October record betters its previous record for one month, set in April 2020, by 6.9%, and the previous October record of 2.66 MMT, set in 2019, by 14.2%.

CP continues to invest in its grain fleet. It has so far placed into service 3,300 new hoppers out of a commitment for 5,900, which was laid out in 2018. The new high-efficiency cars carry 15% more grain volume and 10% more weight compared to the older cars they replace, according to the railroad.

Joan Hardy, CP Vice President Sales and Marketing Grain and Fertilizers

“CP’s customers are managing strong and healthy supply chains to the ports, where new and expanded terminal capacity is facilitating very strong flows of grain,” said Joan Hardy, Vice President Sales and Marketing Grain and Fertilizers. “The CP family of railroaders ensured our customers and farmers received strong service through harvest and in turn created robust performance across the network to continue setting grain-shipping records.”

Noted Darwin Sobkow, Chief Operations Officer of Richardson International: “CP’s record-setting performance has enabled us to support the investments we have made in our grain-handling network, which includes port terminals on the east and west coasts.”

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