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An update from Murray Hamilton

November, 2017

While farming is anything but predictable, there is a certain rhythm to events that are cyclical and familiar. Cultivating, seeding, fertilizing, harvesting, storing… and then transporting. Of course, you could argue that some of those events are unpredictable with challenging inputs and unknowable outcomes, including transportation.

Over the last couple of years, we have made it our mission to be more accountable and more available to our customers and supply chain partners. Most importantly, that means moving your product to market and doing what we say we are going to do. But it also means getting out there and educating more people about the grain supply chain and the role rail plays in it.

On November 7, I presented at the Inland Terminal Association of Canada conference in Saskatoon, where I spoke about the many ways CP is improving rail efficiency and advancing our vision for Canadian grain. As many of you know, much of our success is tied to our Dedicated Train Program (DTP), which allows customers the ability to control origin placement, lock in capacity for designated corridors and have the flexibility to load on either side of the border and to multiple ports.

Like farming itself, our business is cyclical – each crop-year we deliver grain and grain products to market and then work to do it better, more efficiently and safer the next time. Our key input? Your input. Your feedback after the 2013/14 crop-year helped us implement the DTP. Working in close collaboration makes the supply chain stronger and more efficient.

So how are we doing this crop-year? CP moved more Canadian grain this October than any October before. That's on top of a record-setting September. October also featured an all-time best movement of grain cars to Vancouver. Through 15 weeks, we have moved 6 percent more grain than the same point a year ago.

The shipping demand we're seeing this fall is strong, and we're handling it efficiently in close consultation with you, our supply-chain partners. Your efforts to this point are worth celebrating, so let's keep it up.

As we approach winter, there will no doubt be challenges – those we can foresee and those we cannot. In the weeks ahead, I look forward to writing about our winter preparations and giving you more insight into our ongoing efforts to run smoothly and efficiently through the holiday season and beyond.

If you have any questions, concerns or even just a story of a recent success with our business, feel free to drop me a note at grain_questions@cpr.ca. We had good engagement through email last month, and look forward to hearing from you again.  

Murray Hamilton
Assistant-Vice President, Sales and Marketing, Grain  

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October 2017