Saskatchewan Pulse Growers Call Attention to Ag Transport Coalition’s Latest Report

February 10, 2015

Pulse Canada and its partners in the *Ag Transport Coalition released the first of a series of weekly performance measurement reports aimed at increasing transparency related to rail freight capacity and service. Expectations are high that government, railways and the ag industry will use the report

February 10, 2015 (Saskatoon, SK) – Today, the Ag Transport Coalition released the performance measurement update for Grain Week 24.

The weekly report details railway performance across a range of key indicators including rail car demand, railway car supply, timeliness of railway car supply, corridor performance, railway dwell times at origin, and railway dwell times at destination.

In contrast to recent railway reports that suggest the grain supply chain is in sync, the third report from the Ag Transport Coalition again indicates that railways have fallen short on meeting demand, and that timeliness of service continues to be a problem. “The measure that matters is performance against today’s demand,” says Tim Wiens, Chair of the Saskatchewan Pulse Growers (SPG). “Each car ordered represents a customer’s order for product and a grower’s opportunity to deliver.”

According to the Ag Transport Coalition performance report released today, in Grain Week 24 CN and CP Railways supplied 2,250 (32%) of the 7,111 hopper cars ordered for delivery in Grain Week 24. This represents a shortfall of 4,861 cars for Grain Week 24. In the crop year to date, the railways have supplied 45% of customer orders in the week for which cars were ordered, with CN supplying 57% of orders and CP supplying 33% 

“Customers tell us that they turn to other suppliers when Canada does not deliver on time,” explains Carl Potts, Executive Director of SPG. “Reporting on aggregate figures and on performance relative to last year, or the five year average, does not resonate in the marketplace. It is our view that service level requirements need to be linked to shipping demand for all corridors to meet industry-shipping demand, when customers require it. Our ability to consistently and reliably supply our products is measured every week by our customers.” 

The latest performance data measures performance up to January 18, 2015, and covers approximately 90% of grain traffic originating in Western Canada, using data collection services of QGI consulting. Weekly reports can be found on the Ag Transport Coalition website

“SPG would like to see the discussion start immediately about how to improve system performance,” says Wiens. “System inefficiencies are costing growers money every day through wider basis levels and lower farm gate prices. We will continue to take part in the discussions related to the 18 month Canada Transportation Act (CTA) Review, but we expect that railways, government, and industry will develop a short-term action plan to ensure the numbers in these reports improve each and every week.”

Accountable to and funded by growers, SPG’s strategic direction is guided by a seven member, grower-elected, Board of Directors. SPG’s mission is to provide leadership for profitable growth for the Saskatchewan pulse industry.

Additional Information


Saskatchewan Pulse Growers Strategic Plan

May 2015

Saskatchewan Pulse Growers has a new strategic plan.

View Strategic Plan