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CP sets fourth consecutive grain shipping record for 2020/21 crop year

August 4, 2021  By Canadian Pacific (press release)

On Tuesday, Canadian Pacific (CP) announced it hauled more Canadian grain and grain products in the 2020–2021 crop production year than any other crop year during its 140-year history. CP moved 30.62 million metric tonnes (MMT) this crop year, exceeding last year’s record of 29.52 MMT by 1.10 MMT, or 3.7 per cent. 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 MMT, up 3.4 per cent from last crop year.

“The challenge created by the COVID-19 pandemic over the past 17 months has underpinned the value of strong communication and supply chain collaboration,” said Joan Hardy, CP vice-president of sales and marketing for grain and fertilizers. “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 per cent ahead year-over-year through the critical fall peak. This continued through the winter months. At the end of March, CP had moved 14 per cent 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 per cent below the same period last year, and 25 per cent below the fall peak demand levels.


This year’s successes are a testament to the efficiency of the 8,500-foot High Efficiency Product (HEP) train, which can carry in excess of 40 per cent more grain than the 7,000-foot train model when combined with the additional capacity of CP’s new high-efficiency hopper cars. Today, CP serves 25 elevators qualified to load 8,500-foot HEP trains, 13 of which became qualified during the 2020–2021 crop year. By the end of 2021, more than 40 per cent of the CP-served unit train loaders will be 8,500-foot HEP qualified, increasing capacity and efficiency in the grain supply chain for customers and stakeholders.

“What a tremendous accomplishment for CP,” said Marie-Claude Bibeau, minister of agriculture and agri-food. “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.”

CP continues to take delivery of high-capacity grain hopper cars as part of a half-billion-dollar commitment in 2018 to purchase 5,900 of the newest-generation railcars. The new cars can carry 10 per cent more grain by weight and 15 per cent more by volume than the older Government of Canada cars they are replacing.

Today, CP has more than 4,600 owned and leased new high-capacity hopper cars in active service, with plans to add 1,600 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 one metric tonne compared to last year, and by almost three metric tonnes since the start of the fleet renewal program 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,” said Omar Alghabra, minister of transport.

On July 31, CP submitted its 2021–2022 Grain Service Outlook Report to Alghabra, 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. To find out more about CP’s preparations for the new crop year, click here.


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