The railways have seen a slow down in grain movement over the last couple of weeks.
CN's assistant vice president of grain David Przednowek says its reflective of market demand right now.
"There isn't even enough demand from customers to touch the upper limits of the supply chain with respect to how much grain can move in a given week. We're not even close. So it's reflective in the placement of car orders by customers for grain movement. "
He notes they've seen that declining trend into November in a typical year, but this isn't a typical year.
"We don't have an average crop. We have a below average crop, probably about 15 per cent volume below average, but the demand is what it is right now."
Przednowek will be in Regina on Tuesday talking to producers at Canadian Western Agribition's Grain Expo event about CN's grain handling and winter plan along with some of the
challenges they face.
Talking with Golden West earlier this year, Przednowek said that CN has made a lot of fundamental changes to the way it operates this railroad.
In the 2022-23 crop year CN moved over 30 million tonnes of grain and processed grain.
"We moved over 28.1 million tons of grain and processed grain products over the course of the crop year out of western Canada by carload. If you add intermodal shipped directly from Western Canada on top of that, that's another 800,000 tonnes plus. And then, if you include the grain shipped out of eastern Canada, we're well over 30 million tonnes. So one of the highest volumes we've recorded."
Przednowek is also expected to talk about CN's Winter Rail Plan which details the action items that CN is taking to mitigate the impact of winter operating conditions.
"Winter is winter, minus 40 is minus 40 and that's going to have an impact on any aspect of the supply chain all the way from the country, all the way to export destination. But it really goes through the resources that CN has in place and the actions that we can take to mitigate and work around some of the winter extremes."
A key focus included in their plan is their vigorous hiring and recruiting program.
He says they've really had a big hiring push on as work on bringing in hundreds of people to accommodate the changes in the Federal Government's labour rules, work-rest rules, to federally regulated transportation sick days and more.
To hear Glenda-Lee's conversation with David Przednowek click on the link below.