CP Rail Overcomes Backlog To Ship Higher Volumes Of Grain From Western Canada

Canadian Pacific Railway Ltd. (TSX: CP) reported that it managed to move 1% more grain over the past year than in 2016-17, despite a frigid winter and higher-than-expected crop yields that led to a sizable backlog in the first half of this year.

CP Rail said in a news release that it shipped 25.8 million metric tonnes of grain, grain products and soybeans out of Western Canada during the 2017-18 crop year. For the coming year, the Calgary-based railway forecasts that the total crop to move will hit 83.4 million metric tonnes, 5% higher than the five-year average.

CP Rail and rival Canadian National Railway Co. are outfitting their fleets with thousands of larger freight cars and track upgrades over the next four years in a bid to move larger quantities of commodities.

The improvements come amid legislation that imposes financial penalties on railways that fail to deliver promised rail cars for grain shipments on time.

The extremely low temperatures in Western Canada last winter meant trains had to be shorter, a necessity related to their air-brake systems. CP Rail managed to overcome this fact though and increase its shipments.