Follow us on Twitter!
Blog Header Logo
DG&A's Transportation Consulting Blog
Subscribe to this list via RSS Blog posts tagged in CN Rail

Pierre Berton, the late, famous Canadian author noted in his book, “The Last Spike,” that CP Rail has held a respected place in the country’s history.  He wrote that “no other private company, with the single exception of Hudson’s Bay Company, has had such an influence on the destinies of the nation.” For most of the past 15 years, CP Rail faced stiff competition from CN Rail as Paul Tellier and Hunter Harrison led the company’s move from a bloated government run enterprise to a highly profitable public company.  In fact CN’s operating ratio of 61.3 is not only the best among the major North American railroads, it is one of the best of any company in the transportation industry.

The fact that CP Rail lagged so far behind CN Rail and the other class 1 railways in North America led the activist investor Bill Ackman, of Pershing Square Capital, to launch his “palace revolt” proxy battle that resulted in the replacement of CP’s former President with Hunter Harrison, whom he brought out of retirement to drive the railway’s profit improvement.

As we pass through the last quarter of this year, Canada’s two largest railroads are heading down separate tracks.  With an operating ratio is the low 80’s, Mr. Harrison has embarked on a series of actions to reduce costs through improved asset utilization.  This is another way of saying that CP Rail is planning to move its equipment more quickly and efficiently, to become Canada’s second “precision” railroad.   It is seeking to accomplish this by undertaking a series of initiatives.  These include:

  • Building trains at CP’s intermodal terminal in Vancouver with blocks of cars for long haul destinations. This reduces stops and streamlines connections.
  • Increasing average train lengths to 7,000 to 12,000 feet
  • Speeding up the fueling of trains
  • Improving daily scheduling
  • Investing $1.2 billion in 2012 and $1 billion in 2013 on key infrastructure projects
  • Working with customers at both ends to improve coordination

The net result of these changes is that CP Rail now provides 4 day transit times between Vancouver and Chicago and Toronto.  These changes represent half of the transcontinental trains that CP launches daily across its network.  Mr. Harrison is not expecting an overnight drop in the company’s operating ratio.  He told Bloomberg News that he is targeting about 65 percent in the next four years.

Shippers appear to be taking notice of improved service on both major Canadian railways. 

Hits: 21384
Continue reading 0 Comments

Most Recent Posts


Tag Cloud

Transportation service Politics Freight Recession economic forecasts for 2012 Training Derek Singleton robotics 2014 freight volumes network optimization Transplace broker bonds customer engagement Freight Shuttle System Surety bond Education Swift MBA Business Strategy Conway energy efficiency UP Canada's global strategy freight cost savings peak season freight rate increases Entrepreneur Software Advice TMP Worldwide Ferromex MPG US Housing Market ProMiles Werner Rate per Mile 2014 economic forecast truck driver driverless Crisis management Doug Davis CN Rail BlueGrace Logistics Transcom Fleet Leasing fuel surcharge Social Media Canada-U.S. trade agreement YRC Microsoft derailments Dan Goodwill tanker cars LTL Facebook BNSF APL freight audit freight payment Transportation Buying Trends Survey 2014 freight forecast LCV's intermodal shipper-carrier collaboration Global Transportation Hub home delibery Map-21 Search engine optimization Emergent Strategy financial management Associates Training New Hires Truckload TransForce drones Schneider Logistics New York Times Management shipper-carrier contracts future of freight industry Stephen Harper Trade Vision FMCSA freight costs Deferred Packaging FCA Blogging Consulting FuelQuest David Tuttle Distribution Regina Dedicated Trucking NS cheap oil 2015 Economic Forecast driver shortages Load broker IANA Retail transportation Social Media in Transportation Freight Carriers Association of Canada CRM coaching shipping business start-up Broker RFP Otto Climate Change employee termination freight payment freight audit 2013 Economic Forecast Right Shoring Inbound Transportation Horizontal Supply Chain Collaboration NAFTA Toronto Harper Davos speech Adrian Gonzalez Warehousing LinkedIn Transportation dimensional pricing Spanx US Economy Career Advice driver Keystone Pipeline marketing Driver Shortage Masters in Logistics Sales Management Railway Association of Canada US Manufacturing consumer centric hiring process automation routing guide the future of transportation freight agreements Success Canadian economy Infrastructure 360ideaspace transportation news shipper-carrier roundtable 3PL Celadon CITA Shipper Pulse Survey Yield Improvement Colilers International Donald Trump Life Lessons trucking company acquisitions Freight Global experience Reshoring Rotman School of Business Driving for Profit Carriers Fire Phone USA Truck Transport Capital Partners (TCP) Accessorial Charges FMS $75000 bond Loblaw CP Rail Crude Oil by Rail Doug Nix e-commerce CSA freight transportation conference Trump Rail autonomous vehicles Canada bulk shipping capacity shortages Freight contracts freight transportation professional drivers transportation newspaper shipping wine Canadian truckers 2012 Transportation Business Strategies. Jugaad rail safety Trucking CSX Comey freight broker Retail University of Tennessee Packaging Muhammad Ali FCPC Canadian Transportation & Logistics Leadership Business skills Freight Management Dedicated Contract Carriage Cleveland Cavaliers TMS President Obama freight RFP 3PLTL Scott Monty buying trucking companies US Election transportation audit selling trucking companies Business Transformation Strategy capacity shortage Omni Channel Twitter Freight Capacity NMFC CSA scores freight forwarders US Auto Sales ShipMax Sales Training Job satisfaction pipelines freight bid small business Canadian freight market Transloading dynamic pricing Shipper Hudsons Bay Company Failure NCC Success failure entrepreneur freight transportation in 2011 Freight Rates truck drivers Finance and Transportation Amazon mentoring broker security economy JB Hunt EBOR KCS CN carrier conference Bobby Harris Tracy Matura Wal-Mart Canada U.S. trade solutions provider

Blog Archives