$63 million lost each week: Grain producers reel as rail blockades clog supply chains
Storage capacity being pushed to its limit and flow of feed, propane to farms squeezed as farmers rack up millions in additional costs and lost salesRail blockades are upending Canadian meat and grain supply chains, pushing storage capacity to its limit and squeezing the flow of feed and propane to farms as producers rack up millions in additional costs and lost sales. So far this year, grain shipments to Canadian ports have dropped by 1.2 million tonnes, with the most intense losses occurring over the past month, when environmental and Indigenous-rights activists erected random blockades protesting the construction of TC Energy Corp.’s planned $6.6 billion Coastal GasLink project, said Mark Hemmes, president of Quorum Corp., an Alberta company monitoring Canada’s grain movements for the federal government. During the past four weeks alone, grain deliveries to awaiting ships plunged by 560,000 tonnes as the country’s rail system — still working through backlogs due a range of challenges that began with the eight-day Canadian National Railway Ltd. strike in November — was choked by the barriers, he said. “At some point in time, we might make this up but it’ll be way into the summer before we do,” said Hemmes. “Everybody in this business right now, they’ve had their confidence shattered and the impact of that stretches well beyond our borders. We’re going to have to work hard to win back the confidence of our buyers.” Contract penalties, demurrage costs, and capacity losses are all contributing to costs of roughly $63 million each week, according to an estimate from the Western Grain Elevator Association. We’re going to have to work hard to win back the confidence of our buyers Mark Hemmes, president of Quorum Corp. Indeed, fifty-two ships are currently waiting to be filled in Vancouver and Prince Rupert, though the removal of certain blockades Tuesday allowed some grain to begin moving again to those critical ports. The ships charge fees for each day they sit idle, adding to the burden facing the sector, said Mary Robinson, president of the Canadian Federation of Agriculture. “These extra costs will not be paid by ports or rail companies,” Robinson said at the association’s annual general meeting in Ottawa Tuesday. “They come directly out of farmers’ pockets at a cash-pressed time when we need to prepare and invest for the coming crop year.” While the ships sit empty, grain elevators in Western provinces are now at 90 per cent capacity, said Hemmes, adding that farmers are paid when they deliver their harvest to the elevators. “If the grain elevators run out of room and they can’t deliver it, the farmers can’t get paid,” Hemmes said. “That’s what’s so frustrating about this. There has to be a balance between empty and loaded cars moving through the country and that is not happening now.” Like grain farmers, Canadian pork producers rely on rail containers to move meat out of storage facilities and on to ports in Vancouver and Halifax. Pork processors fill roughly 1,000 refrigerated containers each week as trains return a steady flow of empty ones to be filled again. Now, with only trucks available to move the containers, processors are running out of storage to house the backlog, said Gary Stordy, director of government and corporate affairs for the Canadian Pork Council. “The trucking companies are overwhelmed too, and it’s slowing everything,” Stordy said, adding that moving pork by truck is roughly three times as expensive as by rail. “Everybody’s getting really concerned. This is getting more and more difficult.” Everybody’s getting really concerned. This is getting more and more difficult Gary Stordy, Canadian Pork Council In addition to impeding deliveries, blockades are slowing the movement of critical inputs to agricultural supply chains. In Quebec, home to the largest proportion of Canadian pork producers, farmers depend on railways to deliver feed for animals and propane to heat barns. Indeed, the system delivers 1.1 million litres of propane each week for the latter purpose — 85 per cent of which arrives by rail. With just seven to 10 days worth of supply on hand, farmers are rationing inventories and again, turning to trucks to bring in additional feed and fuel — a mode that costs roughly three times that of rail, Stordy said. Olymel LP, one of the country’s largest pork exporters, said it was still assessing the fallout of the blockades. “It’s complex and of course there will be losses,” said spokesperson Richard Vigneault. “It’s costing much more with road transportation and if we have to freeze fresh product there will be losses there too.” The upheaval is happening just as things were looking up for Canadian pork producers, who were anticipating a renewed surge in demand from China after Beijing lifted a four-month suspension on all Canadian meat in November. “All of this is happening at an unexpected additional cost for farmers and it’s starting to get serious,” Stordy said. Financial Post • Email: firstname.lastname@example.org | Twitter: naomi_powell Read more: National Post
CanadaPotstocks Enforce civil Law, use armed helicopters to recapture rail cars, then back up 100 kms, leave the rest to the others to scavenge Pass this loss onto the Mohawks. inkamloops I suggest they sue the protesters. JustinTrudeau BillBlair taxpayers WBrettWilson PierrePoilievre under this Govt, economic terrorists win while law abiding hard working tax payers lose billions because the govt and cabinet have no spine. The PM was lecturing China that Canada is a land of Laws. Big liar.
Oh well, grains. We can live on weeds and gophers. Meanwhile Trudeau wants everyone to hold hands sing folk songs and go home because he says so. Build a big prison and start filling it. Do it or the citizens of this country will do on their own. Enough is enough. Trudeau is the worst PM in history. start starving those terrorists and their families!
As long as the soyboy drama teacher JustinTrudeau runs this country your going to have to get used to this. No confidence vote please! $250 MILLION A MONTH 😡😡😡 We have Anarchy at the top ..!! Traitors are in the office Budget will balance itself
Rail blockades: As new protests develop, optimism around solution buildsJust a day after police removed the rail blockade in Tyendinaga Mohawk territory, more blockades have popped up across Canada in solidarity with a small grou... Optimism? Really. Where do you see that ? More cash
comeragewithme TrudeauMustGo TrudeauIsNotFitForOffice TrudeauWorstPM Letsfixit2019 TrudeauSupportsTerrorism TrudeauNotFitForOffice TashaKheiriddin Shame on you Trudeau Well most of the grain is grown where he has a solid voting base so this will be fixed soon...oh wait, oh yeah Western Canada maybe not so soon with a fix.
TashaKheiriddin Trudeau could care less ! votingliberalhasconsequences Grain producers reel - liberals opine..... Between this, carbon tax, a wet harvest, & crops still in the fields I’ll be surprised if farmers even bother seeding all their acres this year. Just not worth it... leave it in the bins if you can afford to
This is all on Trudeau and he doesn’t care. Where has he been on this topic the last couple days? SheilaGunnReid Skippy's love for the west couldn't be more evident. 🤔
Wet’suwet’en hereditary chief ‘optimistic,’ ready to talk with RCMP on blockades'I feel optimistic': One of the Wet’suwet’en hereditary leaders says the current plan is for RCMP to phone into a meeting with hereditary chiefs later on Tuesday. eamorris_ Bring in the OPP They get the job done! What the Hell is RCMP LOL a Joke LMAO!! Lol this is so dumb 😂 They may be optimistic but I am fed up with them. I have lost all respect for them.
SheilaGunnReid Wow. Would be interesting to poll Canadians to gauge current support for these ongoing disruptions which now include covering tracks with debris and lighting fires on tracks as well as pelt trains with rocks. It's astonishing the level of stupidity! Take it from the federal government money transfers to the FirstNations. cdnpoli
That's okay. The taxpayers (settlers) will pick up the tab. As per usual. I'm surprised that our great farmers and agricultural workers haven't heard 'thank you for your donation, we're working on it, please be patient' yet. Or some other form on non-word salad with zero plan. Too bad 63 million people couldn't storm Trudeau's office just for a dialogue.
Start calling it what it is; economic terrorism.
Police remove Tyendinaga rail blockade, but crisis looms in House of CommonsAfter a deadline passed for demonstrators to disperse, Ontario Provincial Police began dismantling the rail blockade in Tyendinaga Mohawk Territory, arrestin...
Global National: Feb. 24, 2020 | Rail blockades come down but tensions remainOntario Provincial Police dismantled a rail blockade in Tyendinaga Mohawk territory on Monday, arresting a number of protesters. But as David Akin reports, t...
Liberal MPs defer call for immediate blockade debate at committeeLiberal MPs have temporarily thwarted an attempt by a Bloc Quebecois MP to immediately debate the 'Indigenous crisis' involving rail and road blockades across the country at a Commons committee. Why Other than Liberalism being a noted psychiatric disorder? Welfare cheques are comeing on Friday ,I think the goverment should stop it ,its tax payers money not there's..
How the coronavirus could wreak havoc on the global supply chain‘Think about it: one-third of the world’s manufacturing capacity was idling for weeks and is still idling. That’s a big deal’ Or you mean how it is Jan and Feb will be fine (goods were already produced/en-route). First noticeable impacts near end of March (Retail in April). April/May (May/June for Retail) are going to be a mess. It is not 'could', it 'has'. It could just mutate into little Justin Trudeaus.