Canadian Pacific logged its best first-quarter record for hauling Canadian grain and grain products during first-quarter 2020, during which the Class I hauled more than 6.35 million metric tons (MMT).
The 2020 results broke the company's previous Q1 record, set in 2016, by 300,000 metric tons, CP officials announced yesterday in a press release.
During the quarter, CP posted 2.09 MMT in January, its best-ever; 1.76 MMT in February; and 2.50 MMT in March, its best ever. As of March 31, 2020, CP's movement of grain for the 2019-20 crop year was 18.53 MMT, a 6 percent increase compared to the previous crop year.
Supply-chain advancements by CP and its customers are yielding significant productivity gains, CP officials said.
For example, the Class I invested in high-capacity hopper cars, adding 5,900 new units to its grain-shipping fleet. Now at more than 2,500 new grain cars, the fleet is adding more than 1.1 tons of extra grain per rail car compared to the same period last year. The new cars can carry 10 percent more volume and 15 percent more weight compared to the older cars they are replacing.
Meanwhile, customers are investing in elevator networks to accommodate 8,500-foot high-efficiency product (HEP) trains, which can carry 40 percent more grain than the 7,000-foot train model when combined with the higher-capacity hopper cars. Currently, there are 14 elevators on CP's Canadian network that are 8,500-foot HEP qualified, and 14 more projects are underway, CP officials said.
"We're committed to delivering for our customers and farmers as seeding activities ramp up across western Canada," said Joan Hardy, vice president of sales and marketing grain and fertilizers. "With significant volumes of fertilizer and potash shipped in 2020 to date, our customers are well-positioned for application as part of the spring planting processes."