CN says overall grain shipment performance for the start of 2023 has been strong.

David Przednowek, CN's Assistant Vice-President of Grain says so far in February, they set record shipments for individual grain weeks of 667,000 tonnes in week 27,  589,000 tonnes for week 28 and over 630,000 tonnes moved for week 29.

"Those last three weeks have been great. For the most part the supply chain has been clicking. There's been some issues with rain slowing things down on the coast, but nothing that could really upset anything in a massive way. It's kind of down to the individual terminal level and that's been good news for grain movement."

He notes they've also had strong performance when it comes to delivery of CN-supplied hopper cars.

"We've been consistently in that 90 to 100 per cent range of supplying cars either within the want week requested or if there was a customer-related issue that prevented us from supplying cars in that week then catching it up in a couple of days after the end of the want week, like the following Sunday or Monday."

Przednowek says he's pleased with the overall performance.

In the past week, (crop week 30) with temperatures hitting below - 25 celcius they had to shorten the train lengths to maintain safe operating conditions and comply with Transport Canada requirements.

CN Rail has also been in dealing with a Unifor - the union representing about 3000 CN employees working in mechanical, Intermodel terminals, facility management and clerical positions.

The two sides have been in ongoing negotiations since October of last year.

Przednowek says CN tabled a comprehensive offer on February 14th.

"The offer that CN provided includes increases in net pay and benefits and resolves outstanding issues between the parties and provides improved working conditions for all represented employees we do not expect any labor action to impact CN's operations."

A statement on Unifor's website says CN’s compensation offer is not enough and falls short of what they believe their members would see as being reasonable given today’s economic challenges.

Unifor is currently holding strike vote meetings with its members.

To hear Glenda-Lee's conversation with David Przednowek, CN's Assistant Vice-President of Grain click on the link below.