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CP sets record for shipping Canadian grain

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Canadian Pacific (CP) recently announced it hauled more Canadian grain and grain products in the 2020 - 2021 crop production year than any other crop year during CP's 140-year history. Working in close collaboration with customers and other participants in the Canadian grain supply chain, CP moved 30.62 million t this crop year, exceeding last year's record of 29.52 million t by 1.10 million t, or 3.7%. This is the fourth consecutive year that CP has broken its annual movement record. Including grain moved in containers, CP moved a total of 31.21 million t, up 3.4% from last crop year.

“CP's team of exceptional railroaders, dedicated to providing our customers with service excellence, and the strong execution by our customers and terminal operators, has enabled the supply chain to move more grain than ever before,” said Joan Hardy, CP Vice-President Sales and Marketing, Grain and Fertilizers. “The challenge created by the COVID-19 pandemic over the past 17 months has underpinned the value of strong communication and supply chain collaboration. Despite a sharp reduction in demand this spring, CP and our customers have again broken our movement record, and we celebrate that achievement across the supply chain.”

CP's 2020 - 2021 grain movement was 15% ahead year-over-year through the critical fall peak, providing the grain customers excellent service at the time when it is most important to their supply chains. This continued through the winter months. At the end of March, CP had moved 14% more this crop year compared to the record movement last crop year. However, because of market conditions and a tight supply of grain, demand started to fall off in April. Through May, June and July shipper demand was almost 15% below the same period last year, and 25% below the fall peak demand levels.

This year's successes are a testament to the efficiency of the 8500 ft high efficiency product (HEP) train model and investments made by CP's customers. An 8500 ft HEP train can carry in excess of 40% more grain than the 7000 ft train model when combined with the additional capacity of CP's new high-efficiency hopper cars. Customers are actively investing in their elevator networks to accommodate 8500 ft trains. Today CP serves 25 elevators qualified to load 8500 ft HEP trains, 13 of which became qualified during the 2020 - 2021 crop year. By the end of 2021, more than 40% of the CP-served unit train loaders will be 8500 ft HEP qualified, increasing capacity and efficiency in the grain supply chain for customers and stakeholders.

“What a tremendous accomplishment for CP and I want to congratulate everyone involved in achieving this major milestone. Investments like these help position Canada as a world leader in innovation and demonstrates CP's commitment to ensure the safe, efficient transportation of grains, while providing opportunities throughout the entire value chain. The grain sector is a powerful driver for the Canadian economy, and Canadian farmers are known around the world as efficient and reliable suppliers of high-quality products” said the Honourable Marie-Claude Bibeau, Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food.

CP continues to take delivery of high-capacity grain hopper cars as part of a CAN$500 million commitment in 2018 to purchase 5900 of the newest-generation railcars. The new cars can carry 10% more grain by weight and 15% more by volume than the older Government of Canada cars they are replacing. Today, CP has more than 4600 owned and leased new high-capacity hopper cars in active service, with plans to add 1600 more by the end of 2021. This capacity upgrade has increased the amount of grain CP was able to transport in each railcar by more than 1 metric tonne from a year earlier, and by almost 3 metric tonnes since the start of the fleet renewal programme in 2018.

“CP's record performance and focus on innovation is driving the future of grain transportation for the benefit of the entire supply chain and Canadians from coast to coast to coast. As the federal minister of transport, I welcome the submission of the 2020 - 2021 Grain Service Outlook Report. May we continue to work together to achieve great things” said the Honourable Omar Alghabra, Minister of Transport.

On 31 July, CP submitted its 2021 - 2022 Grain Service Outlook Report to the Honourable Omar Alghabra, Canadian Minister of Transport, outlining CP's ability to move grain during the upcoming 2021 - 2022 crop year, taking into account the total volume of grain expected to be moved.

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