Canadian growers move a record 21.8 million metric tonnes of grain on CN network during 2016-2017 crop year

In year-end crop report, CN calls for federal infrastructure investment for Vancouver's North Shore

MONTREAL, Aug. 22, 2017 /CNW/ - CN (TSX: CNR) (NYSE: CNI) announced today it moved a record 21.8 million metric tonnes of Western Canadian grain during the 2016-17 crop year.

"Through innovation, collaboration and improved communication with our supply chain partners, CN moved more grain in a single crop year than ever before," said Doug MacDonald, CN vice president of bulk. "We did this by further developing our supply chain ingenuity with our partners to meet demand, resulting in improvements in the use of equipment and better than ever efficiencies in size of trains."

In a year-end grain report published today, CN outlined other key highlights from the crop year, including:

  • Shipping seven per cent more tonnage than the prior three-year-average
  • Beating the one-year record set in 2014-15 by two per cent
  • Six new monthly shipping records between the peak months of September and March when grain prices are highest
  • Introduction of 200-car grain trains to improve efficiency and turn equipment back to the Prairies faster
  • Expanded use of distributed power and air repeater cars to extend train length and improve train braking during extreme weather winter months

"We gave our customers what they were looking for by significantly expanding our commercial product offering," said MacDonald. "CN expanded commercial agreements that guarantee car supply in advance to our customers both large and small. This commercially-driven innovation includes reciprocal penalties which drive accountability for both shippers and CN, and allows our customers to make market-based decisions."

Last crop year, customers secured approximately 70 per cent of CN's car supply in advance under commercial agreements subject to car commitment guarantees.

Grain companies have continued to invest in the supply chain with the construction of nine new country elevators and another seven announced with completion dates in the next 18 months.

More rail capacity is needed in Vancouver to meet forecasted demand driven by new and ongoing investment in export grain terminals.

Said MacDonald, "Vancouver is a vital trade-oriented Canadian gateway and should be a top investment priority for the government's new national transportation corridor infrastructure fund."

Working with our supply chain partners, CN continues to look for every opportunity to bring even more efficiency to the grain transportation network.

For more information and to download the full year-end grain report visit Radio stations are also invited to download a special edition of the CN Grain Insight podcast to air in part or in its entirety.

CN is a true backbone of the economy whose team of approximately 23,000 railroaders transports more than C$250 billion worth of goods annually for a wide range of business sectors, ranging from resource products to manufactured products to consumer goods, across a rail network of approximately 20,000 route-miles spanning Canada and mid-America. CN – Canadian National Railway Company, along with its operating railway subsidiaries – serves the cities and ports of Vancouver, Prince Rupert, B.C., Montreal, Halifax, New Orleans, and Mobile, Ala., and the metropolitan areas of Toronto, Edmonton, Winnipeg, Calgary, Chicago, Memphis, Detroit, Duluth, Minn./Superior, Wis., and Jackson, Miss., with connections to all points in North America. For more information about CN, visit the company's website at


For further information: Media, Kate Fenske, Media and Community, Relations Manager, (204) 934-8388; Investment Community, Paul Butcher, Vice-President, Investor Relations, (514) 399-0052


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