Prince Rupert Grain is reporting a loss of business due to CN Rail’s transportation service. (Shannon Lough / The Northern View)

Prince Rupert Grain cancels 350,000 tonnes of business

Average of 18-day wait time for grain vessels in Port of Prince Rupert on B.C.’s North Coast

CN Rail delays have caused Prince Rupert Grain to cancel 350,000 tonnes of business up until the end of December 2017.

“We expect to cancel additional tonnage or business in next two weeks,” Bruce Grant, terminal manager for Prince Rupert Grain Ltd., said a day after CN Rail released a public apology to its grain customers in Western Canada.

“Our understanding is there is a shortage of crews and locomotive power, not rail cars. The volume of rail cars coming into the Port of Prince Rupert increased except for grain, which fell. When you look at that it tells you something,” Grant said.

The company expected to handle volumes similar to last year, based on last fall’s crop harvest, which was more than six million tonnes.

“It depends on service going forward. CN talked about being able to improve. We have to see how that’s going to happen and see how much improvement, if any, that will come,” he said.

Grant added that it’s not exactly known how much more tonnage Rupert Grain will have to cancel, but it will be substantial.

He said the company is not planning to lay anyone off, but that the financial impact is huge.

READ MORE: CN apologizes to grain customers

On March 7, the day CN Rail released its public apology, five vessels sat in the Port of Prince Rupert, waiting for grain shipments.

Mark Hemmes, the president of watchdog Quorum Corporation, said that number of vessels is high for Rupert’s port.

In an email on March 8, Hemmes said, “There are normally two to three grain vessels in at any one time. A couple of weeks ago it was up to eight so we are seeing some improvement. At one point in February 2014 it was 17.”

While vessels normally remain in port for an average of 12 to 14 days, Hemmes said, the past couple of months has seen an average of 18 days.

“The problem has been a shortfall in the supply of rail cars in the country to meet the sales programs the grain companies and Prince Rupert Grain have planned for. CN has had issues with meeting their targeted volumes and as such we are seeing this backlog,” he said.

The Port of Prince Rupert declined to comment at this time.

READ MORE: CN to hire 600 people in Western Canada as business improves



keili.bartlett@thenorthernview.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Just Posted

Community and collaboration drive Binche Fishing Derby

Family time, forward thinking and positive initiatives to be highlighted

Dr. Paul Stent awarded Key to the Community

On June 4, local physician Dr. Paul Stent was presented with the… Continue reading

Audit finds Canfor did not comply with bridge maintenance legislation

Per a news release issued by the Forest Practices board, an independent… Continue reading

Tenth B.C. Justice Summit continues dialogue on Indigenous justice

Per an information bulletin courtesy of the Ministry of Attorney General and… Continue reading

Fort St. James Taekwon Do enjoys success at provincials

The Fort St. James Family Taekwon Do team has achieved enormous success… Continue reading

REPLAY: B.C. this week in video

In case you missed it, here’s a look at replay-worthy highlights from across the province this week

B.C. pledges $550 million for Indigenous housing

Aboriginal leaders say federal government needs to pitch in too

Sweden beats South Korea 1-0

Sweden gets benefit of video review in World Cup

Blue Jay Roberto Osuna not expected to appear in court

The Blue Jays pitcher is charged with one count of assault by Toronto police

Global warming cooks up ‘a different world’ over 3 decades

Over 30 years the world’s annual temperature has warmed nearly 1 degree according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration

Family separation policy starts dividing Republicans

Deep concerns arise over the child separation policy in the U.S.

Strong earthquake in Japan kills 3

The magnitude 6.1 earthquake that struck the area early Monday near Osaka

BC Lions defensive back Marcell Young levels streaker in home opener

Young hit the fan near one of the 45-yard lines

Police: Taxi driver who hit 8 Moscow pedestrians fell asleep

Two Mexican World Cup fans were among those hit

Most Read