GFM Network News


Prairie grain freight cost index adjusted upward

Corrected, May 6, 2019 — Canada’s big two railways can expect a small raise in the amount of revenue they get to keep from hauling Prairie grain in the coming crop year. The Canadian Transportation Agency (CTA) on Tuesday announced it will set the volume-related composite price index (VRCPI) at 1.4371 for Canadian National Railway

The ability to move grain by rail from country elevator to port terminals still has room for improvement, says the president of Quorum Corporation.

Grain by rail fails to keep up

Rail transportation is the biggest bottleneck in the grain-handling system

Western Canadian grain shipments are moving well this crop year, but exports could be even higher. The limitation, according to Mark Hemmes, Canada’s grain monitor and president of Quorum Corporation, is the ability to move the crop between country elevator and port terminal by rail. “Grain companies generally do not market grain based on global


Rail now moving fluidly through Vancouver, CN says

Winnipeg | Reuters — Congestion at Port Metro Vancouver, Canada’s busiest port, has been resolved and rail operations are now “fluid,” Canadian National Railway said Friday. Canadian National and rival Canadian Pacific Railway were rationing space on trains travelling in the Vancouver area and prioritized some commodities over others to deal with congestion, causing complaints

CTA launches first self-initiated rail service investigation

Shippers hope it can nip rail service issues in the bud, preventing small problems from becoming massive backlogs

No matter how the Canadian Transportation Agency’s (CTA) first self-initiated investigation into possible freight rail service issues in Vancouver last month turns out, it bodes well for rail shippers, shipper association officials say. “It’s good to know the agency isn’t shy about using its new authority to launch investigations because that’s important,” Wade Sobkowich, executive

Grain shippers say it’s taking some time to bring all the provisions of the new transportation law into effect, but they’re not concerned.

Transport regulation changes unused

It’s partly because grain is moving well, but it’s also taking time to develop level-of-service agreements

Most of the provisions designed to improve rail service for grain in the Transportation Modernization Act (Bill C-49), which became law five months ago this week, have yet to take effect. But that’s neither a surprise nor a disappointment to Wade Sobkowich, executive director of the Western Grain Elevator Association (WGEA), which pushed hard for


Th passage of Bill C-49 will see CN invest in new grain cars and other infrastructure to move grain faster across the Prairies.

CN investing to improve grain transportation

The railway didn’t get everything it wanted in Bill C-49, but it was enough to trigger millions 
of dollars in capital spending, including 1,000 new high-capacity grain cars

A top CN executive says Bill C-49 is already sparking a wave of grain transportation investments. Both CN and CP Rail have ordered 1,000 new high-capacity grain cars and are investing in other infrastructure to move more grain faster partly due to the legislative changes, says Sean Finn, CN’s executive vice-president of corporate services and


The grain industry is hoping new legislation will finally turn the page on recurring grain shipping problems that stretch back decades.

Historic transport bill passes Parliament

But some industry officials won’t fully celebrate until they see it’s working

Western grain shippers are counting on better rail service after the Transportation Modernization Act (Bill C-49) became law May 23 to the delight of grain companies and farmers. During a news conference at Richardson-Pioneer’s South Lakes elevator both groups lauded federal Agriculture Minister Lawrence MacAulay, Transport Minister Marc Garneau and the Senate transport committee for


Commons approves amended transportation bill

The fate of much-awaited transportation reforms is now once again with the Senate

The Liberals used their majority in the Commons to defeat opposition attempts to accept all the amendments proposed to the transportation modernization legislation, and then approve their own changes to the bill. The bill goes back to the Senate for approval before it can receive royal assent and become law, although many of its provisions

Quick passage of amended C-49 sought

The message to Parliamentarians from farmers and shippers — git’r done

Legislation to improve grain shipped by rail isn’t perfect, but it still needs to be passed and made law before Parliament breaks for the summer, say farmers, grain companies and processors. “Even though it (Bill C-49, the Transportation Modernization Act) isn’t perfect we’re clearly of the strong view that we need to lock these change