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

Students perform in annual Okanagan Symphony Youth Orchestra

Okanagan Valley students are getting a taste of orchestra performances

Kelowna Big Bike set to ride

Proceeds from the bike go to the Heart and Stroke Foundation

White Rock man dead after vehicle rollover near Kelowna

RCMP suggest that icy road conditions may have been a factor

Gas prices spike overnight in Kelowna

It’s going to cost a lot more to drive around this week.

Wrestlers invade Kelowna and Vernon

Wrestling events this weekend benefit numerous Okanagan charities

Canadian air travel industry fears pilot flight-time limits will go too far

Air carriers urge feds to slow down flight-time limits for sleepy pilots

Sky-high farmland prices ‘ruinous’ for B.C. agriculture: UFV ag professor

Fraser Valley-based Tom Baumann says $80K-per-acre in area threatens food security

B.C. man charged with litany of drug charges in cross-border smuggling operation

William Milton Barnes of Saanich faces multiple charges

Constructions starts on Hwy. 1 upgrades near Golden

The $19.4 million project will expand the Trans-Canada Highway to four lanes between Donald and Forde Station

KIJHL’s Chiefs name Law new head coach

Ken Law, who coached for eight seasons in Osoyoos, has 40 years of coaching experience.

Political heavyweights hit Washington in hunt for NAFTA deal

Officials from Prime Minister’s office, Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland part of talks

Greenbelt Microgreens recall in B.C., Alberta, due to Listeria concerns

Canadian Food Inspection Agency says there have been no illnesses linked to the microgreens

Commit to harassment-free environment or forego federal arts funding: Joly

$552,000 coming from feds for training so arts organizations build, maintain respectful workplaces

Most Read