Canada Markets

Week 13 Railway Performance Converges

Cliff Jamieson
By  Cliff Jamieson , Canadian Grains Analyst
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Weekly data shows CN's order fulfillment for week 13 falling to 86% of cars wanted while CP's fulfillment rose to 86% and the overall combined level is 86%, tied for the highest percentage in eight weeks. (DTN graphic by Cliff Jamieson)

The AG Transport Coalition's Weekly Performance Update for week 13 or the week ending Oct. 30 shows the order fulfillment data for Canada's two railways converging, defined as the percentage of hopper cars spotted in the week wanted.

CN spotted 86% of the cars wanted for loading during week 13, down from 93% in the previous week, tied for the lowest percentage seen in the past five weeks while compared to the four-week average of 89.5%. This falls below the 90% threshold level used by AG Transport Coalition.

At the same time, CP Rail spotted 86% of the cars wanted for loading during week 13, up from 69% reported in the previous week and the four-week average of 75.3%, while the railway's best performance reported in eight weeks. CP's performance in week 13 matched CN's performance for the first time since week 3, or 10 weeks.

Combined performance shows 86% of all cars in demand were spotted during week 13, still below the 90% threshold level but up from 79% reported the previous week, above the four-week average of 81.75% while tied for the highest combined performance level seen in eight weeks. Note that the week 13 report shows week 12 overall combined performance at 71%, while the week 12 report shows a combined performance of 79%. As there is no changes made to either railroad's performance reported in week 13 for the previous week, the 79% seems correct while the 71% appears to be an error in reporting.

While performance is moving in the right direction overall, demand for shipping was lower and bears watching. Major shippers requested 10,459 cars for week 13, down from 12,328 reported in the previous week and the weakest demand seen in seven weeks. This number is 34% higher than the same week one year ago while 8.2% higher than the three-year average.

Also positive in week 13 data is the outstanding order count, which has fallen from 2,338 cars to 1,261 cars over the past week, the lowest in three weeks and compares to the four-week average of 1,800 cars.

Cliff Jamieson can be reached at

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