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

UPDATE: Highway 1 closed near Revelstoke

A vehicle incident has closed Highway 1 in both directions

Mt Cartier Court gifted a wheelchair accessible bus

Mount Cartier Court has been gifted a brand new, top of the… Continue reading

The cost of Christmas light displays

BC Hydro talks incandescent versus LEDs

Snow warning: Bad for the highways, great for the ski hills

Get your ski gear ready as area mountains are ready for you to enjoy all the Interior winter has to offer this season.

Okanagan professor pitches passenger rail

UBC Okanagan engineering prof envisions tram train from Okanagan to Kamloops

VIDEO: Close encounter with a whale near Canada-U.S border

Ron Gillies had his camera ready when a whale appeared Dec. 7

B.C. Lions hire DeVone Claybrooks as head coach

Former Stampeders DC succeeds CFL legend Wally Buono

France shooting: 2 dead, several wounded in Strasbourg

A world-famous Christmas market was put on lock down on Tuesday

Canadian warship witnesses possible violations of North Korea sanctions

Crew members on HMCS Calgary took photos and collected other information

Christine Sinclair named Canadian Women’s player of the year again

This is the 14th time Sinclair has been named player of the year

Women charged with stealing money from Okanagan hospice return to court

Susan Steen and Melanie Gray are charged with theft over $5,000 and fraud over $5,000

B.C. man wants trapping laws changed after dog killed

Louis Seguin’s 10-month-old Australian shepherd died in a body-gripping trap last month

Nearly 8,000 homeless in B.C., first province-wide count reveals

Twenty-four seperate counts in B.C. cities found there are thousands of homeless in all corners of province

Most Read