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Supply Chain Resiliency Watch – April 3, 2020 APR 3 2020 | Producers | Blog Post

(Daily updates will be available on the Alberta Pulse Growers website.)

Pulse Canada and the CSCA are partners of the Ag Transport Coalition (ATC)*, which tracks performance of the Canadian railway network for the movement of grain.

A daily report has been created to provide stakeholders with insight on the performance of the Canadian rail system as it attempts to remain resilient during the COVID-19 pandemic and continues recovering from a series of physical network disruptions in the months of January and February 2020.

April 3, 2020: Report Synopsis

Note: Due to late transmission of some data, yesterday’s loads on wheels for the system, and CP specifically, were understated by 340 cars.  The unreported data also understated the count of idle cars by 99 cars – all on CP.

Today’s report reflects refreshed data for yesterday.  This does not change the general trajectory of any metrics contained in this report for the current week.

Loads on Wheels

· Traffic levels declined overnight for the fourth consecutive day, reflecting significantly lower volumes on CP (-15%) and a slight decline on CN.

· CP traffic levels fell below the 5,000-car threshold for the first time in eight days, while CN volumes remained below 6,000 cars for the second consecutive day.

· The decline in system traffic volumes reflects a faster rate of cars exiting the system, either through unload or interchange as compared to new traffic being released by shippers. In this instance, the change is significantly influenced by the high level of unloads seen yesterday, particularly for CP.

Loads Not Moving.

· Loads sitting idle for more than 48 hours declined overnight on CN, and rose slightly on CP. The total counts remain above 2,000 cars. Combined with declining loads on wheels, this has resulted in an increase in the ratio of idle cars to loads on wheels, which has risen above last week’s levels for CP, a sign of potentially developing congestion.

· The net decline overnight reflects improvement for CN across all corridors, while CP reflects a series of puts and takes across multiple corridors.

· Most idle cars continue to sit at origin, which may reflect a strategy by the railways to meter traffic to the ports and avoid congestion in their networks.

Port Performance

· West coast port unloads rose to their highest level (1,264) in a week, reflecting improved unload performance at Vancouver and Prince Rupert.

· Vessel line ups ticked down slightly for the third straight day, with counts declining at Prince Rupert (-1). Total west coast vessel count is now at 35.

· Five vessels are now scheduled to arrive at Prince Rupert, and nine vessels are scheduled for arrival at Vancouver over the next two weeks — the latter seemingly in the face of declining demand in the Vancouver corridor this week.

All daily resiliency reports are available on the Pulse Canada website.

*The Ag Transportation Coalition is comprised of the Canadian Canola Growers Association (CCGA), Alberta Wheat Commission (AWC), Pulse Canada, Manitoba Pulse Growers Association (MPGA), Western Grain Elevator Association (WGEA), Saskatchewan Wheat Development Commission, Inland Terminal Association of Canada (ITAC) and the Canadian Special Crops Association (CSCA).

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