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: 21449
Continue reading 0 Comments

Most Recent Posts


Tag Cloud

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

Blog Archives