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

Snowfall adds some delay to morning commute

The QE2 and area road conditions in central Alberta were partly snow covered

Witness refuses to testify against John Savage

Preliminary hearing on Stettler man for second-degree murder halted, plea bargain made

John Savage pleads guilty to manslaughter

Sentenced to 7 years for Stettler murder

Defending champions Team Scheidegger will fight to keep title

Stettler hosting 2019 Alberta Scotties provincial women’s bonspiel

WATCH: World-renowned illusionist, magician, escapist performs in Stettler

Matt Johnson performs two sold-out shows at Stettler Performing Arts Centre

‘I never said there was no collusion,’ Trump lawyer says

President Donald Trump’s lawyer Rudy Giuliani says he has ‘never said there was no collusion’

Body of Canadian miner found after African kidnapping

Kirk Woodman’s body was discovered 100 kilometres from the site where he worked for Progress Mineral Mining Company in Burkina Faso

Study finds more than half of food produced in Canada wasted

The study released Thursday is the world’s first to measure food waste using data from industry and other sources instead of estimates

Snowed-in Austrian nuns insist they’re staying put

Authorities have deployed heavy equipment to clear snow and fallen trees blocking the road to the monastery

New market opens in downtown Ponoka

Makkinga Market had a soft opening showcasing many of the different foods in store

UPDATE: B.C. boy, aunt missing for three days

The pair are missing from Kamloops

Liberal bows out of byelection after singling out Jagmeet Singh’s race

Karen Wang says she made comments online that referenced Singh’s cultural background

Most Read