Canada Markets

CP Performance Lags its Rival CN

Cliff Jamieson
By  Cliff Jamieson , Canadian Grains Analyst
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Canada's grain trade faces growing disparity in performance between the country's two major railways. As of the most recent week 13 data, CN Rail met 92% of its weekly demand for supplying empties, while Canadian Pacific Railroad met 74% of its demand in the same week. This is the second largest spread in weekly performance this crop year, next to week 11. (DTN graphic by Nick Scalise)

Ahead of Canada's challenging winter months, overall railway performance remains tied to which of the two major railways is servicing your delivery point. As of the most recent week 13 data released by the Ag Transport Coalition, CN placed 92% of the cars wanted for the shipping week, while CP spotted just 74%. This is the second widest spread in performance seen, next to week 11 data which shows CN spotting 93% of cars wanted and CP just 69%. Over the past four weeks (week 10 through week 13) CN has averaged 94.25% of its cars spotted in the want week as compared to CP's 76.25%.

The current unfulfilled demand or cumulative cars not spotted totals 4,098, split between CN at 1,584 or 39% of the total and CP at 2,514 cars or 61% of the total. The largest unfilled demand remains at Thunder Bay at 1,507 cars, while Vancouver is next at 1,319 cars. When considering the percentage of overall demand, these two destinations account for just 2.2% and 5.9% respectively. On a percentage basis, the largest shipping corridors facing unfilled demand by the railroads are for USA/Mexico shipping and Vancouver transload cars, both of which are facing an overall 8% shortfall of total demand.

Of the six shipping corridors listed, CP is lagging CN in five corridors which are reported to be serviced by both railroads. This ranges from accounting for 60% of the unfilled demand to Thunder Bay all the way up to being responsible for 94% of the unfilled demand for Canada domestic shipping.

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