VANCOUVER, Nov. 7, 2012 /PRNewswire/ - Claude Mongeau, president and chief executive officer of CN (TSX: CNR) (NYSE: CNI), said today CN is a true backbone of the Canadian economy and can play a major role in helping to advance the nation's trade ambitions.
Mongeau told the Vancouver Board of Trade's Pacific Gateway Forum 2012 that the economic significance of CN and its innovative business agenda support Canada's export potential.
"Vancouver is a major gateway for CN's export-based traffic. Roughly C$85 billion worth of goods move to global markets annually over CN's network, with about 30 per cent of CN's carloads being tied to exports to the U.S. and offshore markets. This means we're a major player in Canada's trade and prosperity, and that global trade is very important to our business as well."
Mongeau said CN's bold agenda of supply chain collaboration, its commitment to operational and service excellence, and focus on seamless end-to-end transportation solutions support growth of gateways such as Vancouver and help make CN customers more competitive in their end markets, at home and abroad.
That agenda is built on CN and supply chain stakeholders coming together to make changes that are driven by commercial forces, he said. Marked improvements have been seen across a number of CN business segments, including grain, which is currently running at record levels, and intermodal, which has grown by more than 65 per cent on the West Coast since 2009.
"We've got a good thing going here," Mongeau said. "We have world-class rail service and the lowest freight rates among OECD countries. We strongly encourage the Canadian government to stay the course with a commercial approach to rail service. Additional regulation could stifle innovation and chill the positive momentum we've developed.
"But if the government decides to legislate railway-customer service agreements, the new rules should be balanced and targeted.
"CN believes such legislation should absolutely require mediation as a first step to give commercial solutions a better chance to prevail. The rules should also require the Canadian Transportation Agency itself - not a roster of arbitrators - to arbitrate any service dispute, so as to limit the possibility of unintended consequences damaging Canada's rail network. And arbitration should only be available to rail customers who depend on a single railroad, in line with the shippers' call that regulation act as a 'backstop' to address cases where they claim railway market power is an issue."
To view Mongeau's slide presentation, click here.
CN - Canadian National Railway Company and its operating railway subsidiaries - spans Canada and mid-America, from the Atlantic and Pacific oceans to the Gulf of Mexico, serving the ports of Vancouver, Prince Rupert, B.C., Montreal, Halifax, New Orleans, and Mobile, Ala., and the key metropolitan areas of Toronto, Buffalo, Chicago, Detroit, Duluth, Minn./Superior, Wis., Green Bay, Wis., Minneapolis/St. Paul, Memphis, and Jackson, Miss., with connections to all points in North America. For more information on CN, visit the company's website at www.cn.ca.
Forward-Looking Statements Certain information included in this news release constitutes "forward-looking statements" within the meaning of the United States Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995 and under Canadian securities laws. CN cautions that, by their nature, these forward-looking statements involve risks, uncertainties and assumptions. The Company cautions that its assumptions may not materialize and that current economic conditions render such assumptions, although reasonable at the time they were made, subject to greater uncertainty. Such forward-looking statements are not guarantees of future performance and involve known and unknown risks, uncertainties and other factors which may cause the actual results or performance of the Company or the rail industry to be materially different from the outlook or any future results or performance implied by such statements. Important factors that could affect the above forward-looking statements include, but are not limited to, the effects of general economic and business conditions, industry competition, inflation, currency and interest rate fluctuations, changes in fuel prices, legislative and/or regulatory developments, compliance with environmental laws and regulations, actions by regulators, various events which could disrupt operations, including natural events such as severe weather, droughts, floods and earthquakes, labor negotiations and disruptions, environmental claims, uncertainties of investigations, proceedings or other types of claims and litigation, risks and liabilities arising from derailments, and other risks and assumptions detailed from time to time in reports filed by CN with securities regulators in Canada and the United States. Reference should be made to "Management's Discussion and Analysis" in CN's annual and interim reports, Annual Information Form and Form 40-F filed with Canadian and U.S. securities regulators, available on CN's website, for a summary of major risks.
CN assumes no obligation to update or revise forward-looking statements to reflect future events, changes in circumstances, or changes in beliefs, unless required by applicable Canadian securities laws. In the event CN does update any forward-looking statement, no inference should be made that CN will make additional updates with respect to that statement, related maters, or any other forward-looking statement.