CN and CP Report Higher Grain Transport Numbers Thanks to Hopper Car Additions

January 5, 2021 Updated: January 5, 2021

CALGARY—Canada’s railways are reporting continued record levels of grain shipments as they add high-capacity grain hopper cars.

Canadian Pacific Railway Co. says it moved a calendar year record 31.32 million tonnes of Canadian grain and grain products in 2020.

It says it moved a record 8.84 million tonnes in the fourth quarter, aided by a record haul of 2.84 million tonnes in December.

Canadian National Railway Co., meanwhile, says it also shipped a record of over 2.84 million tonnes of grain by rail car in December, bringing the volume from the 2020-21 crop year-to-date to 14.5 million tonnes, exceeding the previous all-time record pace volume by nearly two million tonnes or over 15 percent.

CN spokesman Jonathan Abecassis added in an email that the railway shipped 9.25 million tonnes in the fourth quarter and over 32 million tonnes in calendar 2020, both records. He added the numbers don’t include grain shipped by intermodal container, which is also at a record level for CN.

CP says it has added 3,700 of its commitment for 5,900 hopper units that carry 15 percent more volume and 10 percent more weight compared with older cars they are replacing.

Two weeks ago, the Canadian Transportation Agency said CN and CP exceeded their maximum grain revenue entitlements for the 2019-20 crop year and would have 30 days to pay the amount by which they exceeded their entitlements plus a 5 percent penalty.