With farmers busy with the harvest there's been a slow start to grain movement in the new crop year.
The assistant vice president of grain for CN Rail David Przednowek says that's not really a surprise, adding that they've seen demand starting to pick up for grain shipment week four which marks the first pop in demand.
"We're not into the meat of the harvest yet. We're not into the top of the peak of demand. There's a lot of questions around just how high that peak is going to get this year based on the outlook of the Western Canadian grain crop. How much farmer selling is going to be coming in there, and how much grain actually wants to move into the supply chain given the market conditions that are in place right now?
While grain movement is expected to pick up in the weeks ahead, they did have a couple of unit trains that ended up being canceled by customers last week, because they didn't have the right grain or the right amount of grain coming in.
Meantime, things are back to normal at the west coast ports following the BC port strike.
The 13-day port strike ended in mid-July when the International Longshore and Warehouse Union Canada employees reached a tentative four-year deal with the B.C. Maritime Employers Association.
That deal would be ratified on August 4th during a two-day vote by the union.
Przednowek says the single biggest segment that was impacted by that labor disruption was the intermodel supply chain.
"On that perspective, we are for all intents and purposes caught up. Subsequent to that everybody's aware of the wildfire situation in British Columbia. We had some disruptions last week to our supply chain due to fires in and around the CN Yale subdivision. That's in southern British Columbia that's within the directional running zone where CN and CP both have their main lines running through the Fraser Canyon, so that did cause train stoppages."
He notes CN has deployed its water train Poseidon to help deal with the fires.
To hear Glenda-Lee's conversation with CN's David Przednowek click on the link below.