CN Plays Catchup on Grain But Export Concerns Persist

Canadian National Railway said it’s meeting the government requirement to transport more grain but warned that grain elevators on the west coast are nearing capacity and ice coverage prevents shipping via the Great Lakes. The railroad said it has transported on average 4,366 railcars weekly in the last three weeks, after...

Shippers Take Rail Service Complaints to STB

Bulk rail shippers ranging from agriculture to coal producers told the U.S. Surface Transportation Board today that poor rail service must be solved before their business suffers even more. Shippers told the rail regulatory agency that the deteriorating service goes beyond weather-related delays, and at times smacks of railroads’ preference of...

US grain exporters brace for worsening rail delays as harvest nears

Many U.S. Midwest grain exporters have little reason to be optimistic that they’ll get their products to market on-time or for a price that will make shipping to Asia economically feasible. With the wheat, corn and soybean harvests just around the corner, many farmers have seen delays of weeks — if...

US senators pressure CP, BNSF to fix grain rail delays ahead of harvest

WASHINGTON — Congressional pressure is mounting on BNSF Railway and Canadian Pacific Railway to get rid of a backlog of U.S. grain shipments before the harvest arrives this fall. U.S. Sens. John Hoeven and Heidi Heitkamp, both of North Dakota, pressured CP CEO and Director E. Hunter Harrison to accelerate the...

BNSF, CP improve rail service as harvest test nears

BNSF Railway and Canadian Pacific Railway say they are steadily reducing a backlog of grain shipments, but agricultural shippers warn the true test of whether they can handle the upcoming harvest will come quickly, in a week or two. Meanwhile, pressure from Washington, D.C., is mounting on the two railroads to...

US grain exporters welcome ILWU contract but rail delay concerns persist

U.S. grain shippers are welcoming the International Longshore and Warehouse Union’s collective bargaining agreement with Pacific Northwest grain handlers, but they are still concerned about poor rail service that is hampering their ability to get exports to Asia. The ratification of a new four-year agreement between the ILWU and three large...

US soybean exporters warn service failures jeopardize their global edge

A coalition of soybean exporters urged the U.S. freight transportation industry Friday to invest in infrastructure, equipment and process improvements to maintain the role of the American farmer as the world’s preeminent supplier of soybeans. A series of mishaps this past year, including equipment shortages, rail service failures and delays in...

Survey finds rail service improving for US grain exporters

Farmers and grain handlers in the U.S. Midwest are experiencing improved rail service, according to a recent survey from a group that has been a vocal critic of rail delays, congestion and shipping rates in the past year. The survey of 42 grain handlers in Minnesota, North Dakota, Nebraska and South...

A crude warning on rail service

Intermodal service is sliding back downhill. After recovering rapidly in the weeks following Thanksgiving, the four-week moving average intermodal train speed (for all Class I rails except Canadian Pacific) topped out at 30.9 mph in late January. Since then, this measure has moved steadily downward for six straight...

US intermodal rail network primed for expected bumper harvest

U.S. exporters are bracing for what could be another historic harvest this year, providing Western railroads with more intermodal cargo and container lines backhaul freight to Asia. Unlike in...