Improved Reporting, Communication to Ease Grain Logistics Woes

Debra Murphy, 2012

Agriculture Minister Gerry Ritz announced today that the government will take action on recommendations from the Crop Logistics Working Group (CLWG), in an effort to increase the competitiveness of the grain supply chain. Immediate actions include both pursuing improvements in reporting frequency through the Grain Monitoring Program and providing an ongoing forum for representatives to discuss improvements.

Read More: New Fair Rail Freight Service Act Becomes Law – July 2, 2013

“Canada’s crop industry is a vital part of the Canadian economy and we will continue to work with all parts of the supply chain to get farmers’ products to market,” said Minister Ritz. “Current transportation challenges faced by producers present an opportunity for the entire value chain to improve efficiencies and position Canada’s grain sector for future growth.”

The proposed expanded range of metrics and reporting frequency would include:

  • Railway order fulfillment information:
    • weekly car orders placed by all grain companies;
    • weekly car orders accepted (operating plan) by railways;
    • weekly car orders actually placed by railways; and
    • weekly cancellations of orders.
  • Weekly loads on wheels by carrier.
  • The covered hopper car fleet size in grain service for both mainline carriers by class of service (bad orders, etc.) on a weekly basis.
  • Terminal Unload Performance by railway (weekly unloads by port, along with expanded detail on arrival, constructive placement dwell, and unloading time at terminals).
  • Western Canada railway grain traffic (volumes, loaded transit times, cycle times) to Eastern Canada, United States and Mexican destinations.
  • U.S. grain traffic to Western Canadian destinations.
  • Western Canadian grain traffic shipped to port in containers.

Hear More: Easing the Logistics Burden in the Immediate, Short and Long Term: Gordon Bacon

This announcement follows the Harper government’s recent investment of $1.5 million in a 5 year, $3.2 million, multi-sector project led by Pulse Canada to improve supply chain efficiency and reliability.

The Crop Logistics Working Group (CLWG) was formed in 2011 to give the agriculture industry a venue to provide input to the Rail Freight Service Review. Although its initial mandate has been fulfilled, the Harper government announced the renewal of the CLWG in 2012 with new goals, primarily focused around enhancing the performance of the supply chain for all crops. 

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