GFM Network News


Grain movement has been phenomenal since spring, but the coming winter will test the capabilities of both railways.

Will the gusher of grain movement continue?

Shipping records have shattered but the big test comes when the snow flies

Reading Time: 4 minutes The grain transportation system has been ‘pounding it,’ with monthly records falling like flies through spring, summer and even into harvest. So will it continue? That will depend on sales and demand from other sectors that ship by rail, say experts. “We’ve done very well in the aftermath of everything that’s happened in the last […] Read more

G3’s newly opened terminal in North Vancouver — which can load up to 6,500 tonnes an hour — is the latest improvement to a shipping network that has been moving unprecedented amounts of grain during the pandemic.

Railways ‘blowing the doors off’ with grain movement

It could be a record year for movement but bottlenecks remain despite heavy investment

Reading Time: 4 minutes Grain is flying off the Prairies now that it’s not competing with other sectors for space on the rail network. “We’ve always said that the terminals, the grain companies, and the processors feel that they can move more,” said Steve Pratte, manager of policy development at the Canadian Canola Growers Association. “This year, we’ve had […] Read more


A ghostly view of ships anchored in Vancouver’s Burrard Inlet on March 2. These are just a small fraction of the dozens of freighter and container ships anchored in the Gulf Islands and along the coast of Vancouver Island — all waiting for the backlog at the Port of Vancouver to be cleared.

Rail delays have everyone ‘ripping their hair out’

Every West Coast anchorage spot is filled as ships wait for rail traffic to get back to normal

Reading Time: 4 minutes It was a cold and rainy day — a gloomy but an apt setting for producers and grain industry officials touring the Port of Vancouver and witnessing the backlog of ships anchored in Burrard Inlet. The ships were barely visible in the fog for tour attendees, delegates to the Canadian Crops Convention held here earlier […] Read more

(CN.ca)

CN reports grain movement back at pre-strike pace

Canadian National Railway’s grain shipping is back to its pre-strike pace, the railway says. “By the second week of December (week 19), CN returned to shipping at peak levels, as well as taking on all customer hopper demand for the second and third weeks of December,” Montreal-based CN said in a release Thursday. “Despite a […] Read more


(Dave Bedard photo)

Elevator operators seek quick end to CN strike

The Western Grain Elevator Association (WGEA) wants grain shipments on Canadian National Railway (CN) to resume as soon as possible. “It has a major impact for every day that we’re not moving grain on CN,” WGEA executive director Wade Sobkowich said in an interview Tuesday. “A federal mediator has been appointed and that’s a step […] Read more

Loading grain on a vessel at a Burrard Inlet terminal. (Maxvis/iStock/Getty Images)

B.C. longshoremen to take strike vote this week

MarketsFarm — The International Longshore and Warehouse Union (ILWU) is urging members at Canada’s West Coast ports to vote for a strike, as negotiations for a collective agreement have dragged on for over a year. The union members’ vote takes place Wednesday and Thursday (May 8-9). ILWU and the British Columbia Maritime Employers Association (BCMEA) […] Read more


(PortMetroVancouver.com)

Grain vessel lineup rising at Vancouver

CNS Canada — The lineup of grain vessels waiting for loading at Vancouver increased to 21 for Week 8 of the grain shipping season. Reports by Quorum Corp., which monitors Prairie grain handling, stated vessels at Vancouver were up 31 per cent from the previous week (17). The increase in ships raised sentiments that grain […] Read more

With winter coming to an end, rail service should improve — but that will come too late for farmers needing cash before seeding.

Farm leaders again ask government to act

But with spring road bans and seeding season approaching, any moves are likely ‘too little, too late’

Reading Time: 3 minutes “Too little too late.” That comment from the president of the Grain Growers of Canada likely sums it up for many producers across the Prairies. “While western grain farmers are pleased to see that the government and railways have recognized the negative impact that poor rail service is having on farmers, it shouldn’t take a […] Read more


Pass Bill C-49 before Parliament breaks in June: That was KAP president Dan Mazier’s message to the Commons agriculture committee March 19 in Ottawa. (ParlVU screen shot)

Get grain moving again, KAP says

Move western grain, ASAP. That’s the blunt and urgent message Keystone Agricultural Producers (KAP) president Dan Mazier told an emergency meeting of the House of Commons’ agriculture committee Monday in Ottawa. The 2013-14 grain shipping backlog cost Western farmers around $6.5 billion and the current one will cost billions again, Mazier said. The first step […] Read more

Grain is loading slowing down at port terminals, such as at Cargill’s newly expanded Northern Vancouver facility.

Farmers call for action on grain transportation

Thousands of rail cars haven’t been delivered in what has been the worst performance since the crisis of 2013-14

Reading Time: 4 minutes Farm groups are redoubling their efforts to get the federal Liberals to move Canadian grain — but their pleas appear to be falling on deaf ears. Olds-area farmer Jeff Nielsen travelled with other farm leaders to Ottawa at the start of the month in a bid to get the government to crack a whip and […] Read more