Canadian Pacific Rail says its western grain movements in October were its best ever despite dealing with a weather-delayed harvest.
A record 15,865 carloads were moved to West Coast ports in October, besting the previous record of 15,449 carloads in March 2016. Total Western Canadian grain movements in the month climbed 3.9 per cent over last year, just off the record set in May 2014.
The company credits spent millions over the past three years improving its performance combined with investments by grain companies in country elevator capacity.
“I am proud of the CP team and applaud the efforts and early success of our supply chain partners as the crop season begins to accelerate into the colder months,” said CP president and chief operating officer Keith Creel said in a release.
“We continue to focus on providing best-in-class service to our customers and look forward to moving more Western Canadian grain to market for the benefit of farmers, shippers and the Canadian economy.”
The release cautioned against “finger-pointing” at any component of the supply chain as winter approaches with the majority of the 2016-17 crop yet to move.
It pointed to “misleading and inaccurate data published by the Ag Transport Coalition” as promoting the notion that the railways are engaged in an adversarial relationship with farmers and grain handlers. “The truth is we are partners in driving the Western Canadian economy forward.”
CP says more than three-quarters of CP’s Western Canadian grain business uses the Dedicated Train Program (DTP), which allows customers to control their own train assets for a period of 12 months or more.
“Trying to compare DTP performance to an ‘order fulfillment’ model, as the Ag Transport Coalition does, simply does not work,” CP said.