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

Editorial: Go out and play

How much is too much screen time?

Fort St. James businesses get into the Christmas spirit with decorating contest

Northland Automotive Ltd. won first place in Fort St. James Chamber of… Continue reading

Couple selling fake jewelry in Fraser Lake, say RCMP

A man and woman have been defrauding local residents, offering fake jewelry for sale

Gitxsan forming cross-sector salmon management team

Nation again declares closure of fishery in territory for 2019

Omar Khadr wants changes to bail conditions

‘My life is held in suspension’, says the former Guantanamo Bay detainee

Sissons scores OT winner as Predators beat Canucks 4-3

VIDEO: Vancouver battles back to earn single point in Nashville

Lions announce seven members of coaching staff not coming back for 2019

The operational moves come two days after the Lions announced DeVone Claybrooks as the team’s new head coach

$12K awarded to atheist family who oppose Christmas, Hanukkah in B.C. classroom

Gary Mangel,May Yasue said holidays, Remembrance Day and Valentine’s Day not appropriate in preschool

Coach accused of sexual assault says apology letter was misinterpreted

Dave Brubaker has pleaded not guilty to one count of sexual assault and one count of invitation to sexual touching

Give the gift of nature this holiday season

Please don’t be mad, but I bought you a moose

Aboriginal poet faces backlash for calling out NHL-themed totem poles

Rebecca Thomas says she received backlash for asking a drugstore chain to remove NHL merchandise

No plans yet for free WiFi on BC Transit buses

BC Transit says they are monitoring the roll-out of free WiFi on Translink vehicles

Some Kotex tampons recalled in Canada and U.S.

In some cases, tampon users sought medical attention “to remove tampon pieces left in the body.”

Most Read