Category: Logistics

Shortline railways to buy Saskatchewan’s hopper car fleet

The Saskatchewan government says it has reached deals with three shortline railways in the province to sell the Saskatchewan Grain Car Corporation’s fleet of 898 hopper cars. Big Sky Rail Corp. (663 cars), Great Western Railway Ltd (150 cars) and Great Sandhills Railway (85 cars) have committed to buying the fleet for $9.7 million, or… Read more »

Railways anticipating $1 billion annual carbon tax bill by 2022

Canada’s freight railways say they anticipate paying over a billion dollars per year by 2022 under carbon pricing policies proposed and planned by the federal and provincial governments. “It’s difficult to get a precise figure, but we’ve tried to run some estimates based on the existing pricing structures and fiscal instruments, as well as the… Read more »

GrainsConnect plans fourth Canadian elevator, at Huxley, Alta.

GrainsConnect Canada has announced plans to build a fourth grain terminal in Western Canada. Pending necessary approvals, the company will build a 35,000 tonne elevator at Huxley, Alberta (approximately 75km southeast of Red Deer.) GrainsConnect, a joint venture between Australia-based GrainCorp and Japanese ag co-op Zen-Noh, has three other elevators under construction, at Maymont and… Read more »

Grain companies looking forward to taking proposed rail legislation for a test drive

“It’s not perfect, but it is better than we expected.” The new rail legislation introduced by the federal government checks off most of the boxes on the list for grain shippers, says Wade Sobkowich, who represents major grain companies as executive director of the Western Grain Elevator Association. Bill C-49 would give shippers the right… Read more »

Garneau aiming to pass new rail legislation “later this year”

Farm and grain industry groups are optimistic new freight rail legislation proposed by the federal government will shift the balance of power in the market toward shippers. Some are even saying the bill introduced by Transport Minister Marc Garneau goes further than they expected. If passed, Bill C-49 would give shippers the right to charge railways… Read more »

Commodity groups optimistic new rail legislation will improve grain transportation

Farm and crop industry groups are welcoming the legislation introduced by Transport Minister Marc Garneau on Tuesday. Bill C-49 would, among other things, give shippers the ability to charge reciprocal penalties to railways for poor performance, clarify of the definition of “adequate and suitable” service, and increase requirements for railway reporting and contingency planning —… Read more »

New rail legislation keeps revenue cap, adds “long-haul interswitching”

Federal Transport Minister Marc Garneau introduced draft legislation on Tuesday that includes long-awaited changes to the rules governing grain transportation by rail. Bill C-49 will, among other things, give shippers the right to seek reciprocal financial penalties in service agreements with railways, define “adequate and suitable” rail service, and implement new data reporting requirements for railways… Read more »

New rail bill yet to be introduced

Update, May 12: A bill entitled “An Act to amend the Canada Transportation Act and other Acts respecting transportation and to make related and consequential amendments to other Acts” was added to the House of Commons notice paper on Friday, May 12, meaning it could be introduced as early as Tuesday, May 16. A spring… Read more »

Viterra Acquires Gavilon Elevator in Grand Forks, ND

Viterra is expanding its grain handling network into the U.S. The Regina-based subsidiary of Glencore has acquired a 140,000 metric tonne grain handling facility from Gavilon Grain in Grand Forks, North Dakota — 125km south of the Canada-U.S. border down I-29. “We’re pleased to add this facility to our asset network, and to continue building our… Read more »

G3 Plans Two New Elevators in Saskatchewan

G3 Canada continues to expand its presence on the prairies, announcing plans for two new primary elevators in Saskatchewan on Tuesday. The company that evolved out of the privatized Canadian Wheat Board says it will build a 34,000 tonne facility 5 km north of Melville on Highway 10 and a 42,000 tonne elevator 7 km… Read more »

India’s Reliance on Canadian Pulses, NAFTA Uncertainty, & New Elevator Construction: Viterra CEO Kyle Jeworski

The CEO of one of Canada’s largest grain companies is “very optimistic” a timely resolution will be reached to maintain Canadian pulse crop shipments to India. A looming change to India’s phytosanitary policy for pulse imports effective April 1 has left sales to Canada’s largest pulse export market in limbo over the last few weeks. “Canada realizes… Read more »

New Rail Bill Expected Soon: 3 Things To Watch For

If new rail legislation the federal government promised to introduce this spring is to be passed before the end of the session in June, it will have to be tabled soon. “One would imagine with the legislative calendar, it’s going to be have to be in the next several weeks,” says Steve Pratte, rail policy guru… Read more »

Viterra, GrainsConnect Elevators to be Built Near Vegreville, AB

Both Viterra and GrainsConnect have announced plans over the last two weeks to build new high throughput grain elevators in the Vegreville, Alberta area. Viterra confirmed yesterday that it has received all necessary regulatory approvals, with construction expected to begin this spring. “We have a long and successful history in this area of Alberta, so… Read more »

Northern Ontario — Distraction or Attraction?

Sitting in the Northern Exposure presentation at the Southwest Agricultural Conference, I watched with fascination as a room full of southern Ontario farmers were captivated by Prairie agriculture. How’s that, you ask? Well, farming in Ontario’s “north” is far more similar to farming in Manitoba than the rest of the growing region of Ontario, and this Prairie… Read more »

G3 Unveils Plan for Vancouver Port Terminal

G3 — the grain company that acquired the former Canadian Wheat Board — has unveiled plans to build the first fully new grain terminal at the Port of Vancouver since the 1960s. Located in North Vancouver, the 180,000-tonne facility will feature a rail loop track that will be capable of holding three 134-car trains (see drawing… Read more »