GFM Network News


A record 12 months of grain shipping for CN

A record 12 months of grain shipping for CN

Reading Time: < 1 minute CN Rail says it set another grain shipping record in February, the 12th consecutive month it has set a new record. The railway said it moved 2.28 million tonnes of Canadian grain and grain products in February, breaking the old mark of 2.12 million tonnes by seven per cent. Since the start of the crop […] Read more

Both CP Rail and CN Rail continue to set records for grain movement and that’s earning praise from farm groups that had long been at odds with the railways.

Record-setting performance earns kudos for railways

Farm group offers its congratulations but says improved grain movement needs to ‘stay that way’

Reading Time: 2 minutes It’s something that would have seemed unimaginable even a few years ago — a major grain group issuing a news release just to praise the performance of the two big railways. “The Western Canadian Wheat Growers offers congratulations to both CN Rail and CP for the record volume of grain and grain products moved in […] Read more


(Dave Bedard photo)

Federal work/rest rules to be updated for railway workers

More clarifications coming, Teamsters say

A perennial sticking point in work stoppages and labour disputes at Canada’s two major railways is expected to be at least somewhat addressed within the next two and a half years. Federal Transport Minister Marc Garneau on Nov. 25 announced what’s billed as the first updates to the Duty/Rest Rules for Railway Operating Employees since […] Read more

Smoke rises from the site of burning railcars at a CP derailment near Guernsey, Sask., on Feb. 6, 2020. (Photo: Reuters/Nayan Sthankiya)

New rail speed limits to be based on temperatures

Railways wanting to run under new limits must develop winter operation plans

Given the odds of weird temperature swings happening somewhere in Canada at any time of year, railways will now instead be required to slow their trains’ speeds based on how cold it is outside at the time, rather than a date range. Federal Transport Minister Marc Garneau on Friday announced a new ministerial order meant […] 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

(PortOfThunderBay.com)

Grain exports continue strong out of Thunder Bay

COVID-19 leads to increased demand, reduced oil traffic by rail

MarketsFarm — The Port of Thunder Bay reported another strong grain handling month in May, as more than 1.1 million tonnes of Canadian grain and oilseeds moved through the harbour on the northern shores of Lake Superior during the month. Increased demand from many countries stockpiling grain amidst the global COVID-19 pandemic was cited as […] Read more


(File photo by Dave Bedard)

Fuel, labour to pull grain freight cost indices lower

CP's share buybacks also a factor in its VRCPI

The numbers that decide how much revenue Canada’s big two railways get to keep from Prairie grain handling have been marked downward for the 2020-21 crop year. The Canadian Transportation Agency last week announced it will set the volume-related composite price index (VRCPI) at 1.4202 for Canadian National Railway (CN) and at 1.4205 for Canadian […] Read more

(PortOfHalifax.ca)

Ottawa expected to ‘officially’ declare ag an essential service

The Western Grain Elevator Association says that designation will clarify things and help to keep grain moving

Canada’s grain industry expects the federal government will soon officially declare agriculture an essential service. Wade Sobkowich, executive director of the Western Grain Elevator Association (WGEA), says that designation will have a practical application. “Hopefully it ends all confusion about grain workers at elevators, railway workers and anybody else required for moving grain, as to […] 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

‘Perfect storm’ hits grain movement

‘Perfect storm’ hits grain movement

Reading Time: < 1 minute The blockade of CN rail lines by Indigenous-rights protesters has contributed to “a perfect storm” affecting grain movement this winter, say Alberta Wheat and Alberta Barley. “An eight-day CN rail strike in late November, followed by a 10-day cold spell in January and heavy rains impacting rail movement and the loading of grain vessels at […] Read more