GFM Network News


Pulse industry watching container supply closely

One major container firm is shipping them back to Asia empty to meet a surge in demand

Pulse Canada is keeping an eye on container supplies following the recent announcement by a major supplier it would be shipping them back empty to Asia from North America to meet a surge in demand. Why it matters: Canadian pulse crop exporters rely on shipping containers to get their products to international customers. A lack

CSL Frontenac loading grain at the Port of Thunder Bay.

Seaway ‘grain rush’ continues as harvests arrive

Global demand for wheat has driven the increase in grain cargo as other shipping classes have fallen off

Canadian grain shipments through the St. Lawrence Seaway topped 6.2 million tonnes at the end of September, maintaining its 20 per cent increase over the 2019 season, according to the latest results. While the ‘grain rush’ has helped lift cargo totals, Great Lakes-seaway shipping also reported decreases in commodities related to steel production, and the energy and


CN says it’s set with a strong winter program and the resources to deliver, raising the possibility grain shipments could set a new all-time record three crop years in a row.

Grain-shipping three-peat possible

Western Canada could ship another record amount of grain this crop year but it’s going to take good management and good luck

While the 2020-21 crop year is young, when it ends next July 31 it’s possible western Canadian grain shipping will have set another record — the third in a row. A three-peat requires a big crop, rail capacity, good management and luck, but it’s off to an unprecedented start, says Canada’s grain monitor, Mark Hemmes,

CN reports grain movement back at pre-strike pace

Canadian National Railway’s grain shipping is back to its pre-strike pace, the railway says. “By the second week of December (week 19), CN returned to shipping at peak levels, as well as taking on all customer hopper demand for the second and third weeks of December,” Montreal-based CN said in a release Thursday. “Despite a

Elevator operators seek quick end to CN strike

The Western Grain Elevator Association (WGEA) wants grain shipments on Canadian National Railway (CN) to resume as soon as possible. “It has a major impact for every day that we’re not moving grain on CN,” WGEA executive director Wade Sobkowich said in an interview Tuesday. “A federal mediator has been appointed and that’s a step


B.C. longshoremen to take strike vote this week

MarketsFarm — The International Longshore and Warehouse Union (ILWU) is urging members at Canada’s West Coast ports to vote for a strike, as negotiations for a collective agreement have dragged on for over a year. The union members’ vote takes place Wednesday and Thursday (May 8-9). ILWU and the British Columbia Maritime Employers Association (BCMEA)

As Western Canadian grain production increases, the volume of grain being exported by container is increasing as well.

Big jump in western Canadian grain production ‘new normal’

Canadian crop/product exported to the U.S. rail vs. truck

Lots has changed since the federal government appointed Quorum Corporation in 2001 to monitor Western Canada’s grain handling and transportation system, especially the amount of grain to be monitored. In 2001 Western Canada’s total grain supply — production plus carry-in from the previous year — was about 50 million tonnes. This year it’s about 80

Grain vessel lineup rising at Vancouver

CNS Canada — The lineup of grain vessels waiting for loading at Vancouver increased to 21 for Week 8 of the grain shipping season. Reports by Quorum Corp., which monitors Prairie grain handling, stated vessels at Vancouver were up 31 per cent from the previous week (17). The increase in ships raised sentiments that grain


While grain shippers can gain from the auction, CN doesn’t earn any more because of the MRE

Need grain cars? Consider CN’s auction

CN Rail has several programs that allow shippers to lock in their car supply

It was commonly thought Canada’s railways wouldn’t auction rail cars because the maximum revenue entitlement (MRE) prevents them from pocketing the extra revenue. But CN started offering a limited number of cars to the highest bidder in the 2016-17 crop year, David Przednowek, CN Rail’s director of grain marketing, said in an interview Aug. 24.

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