Western Canada grain crop shaping up to be one of the largest ever, says CN President and CEO Claude Mongeau

Oct 07, 2013, 11:15 ET from CN

Mongeau says solid supply chain collaboration and information sharing will be key to reaching world markets efficiently

EDMONTON, Oct. 7, 2013 /PRNewswire/ - Claude Mongeau, president and chief executive officer of CN (TSX: CNR) (NYSE: CNI), said today current forecasts call for Western Canada crop production of more than 60 million tonnes - one of the largest harvests in history - and stressed that supply chain collaboration and information sharing will be essential to moving the crop efficiently.

"Our grain customers have advised us in recent weeks that they are raising their original forecasts for this fall's shipments, as well as the amount of grain they intend to export between now and the end of this crop year next July," Mongeau said. "The current grain crop is now forecast to be among the largest in history. This is very good news for all of us involved in the business.

"Such a large crop will clearly challenge the entire supply chain. Meeting this challenge successfully will require all supply chain partners to come together in order to maximize end-to-end throughput on a consistent basis. Prompt car loading in the Prairies, steady railway movements from the country to port, and efficient car unloading at port terminals will be critical to solid hopper car fleet velocity so that the cars can be brought back to the countryside to meet new orders in a timely way.

"All participants in the supply chain will have to up their game to move the crop to market on time, and on spec. CN is focused on port terminal unloading performance on the waterfront, maintaining a fluid rail operation, and sizing its hopper car fleet capacity at the level required to help keep the supply chain synchronized. Our C$100-million investment in increased rail capacity in the Edmonton-Winnipeg corridor this year will help CN handle strong volumes of grain and other commodities over the fall and winter seasons."

Mongeau said the strong collaboration CN experienced with its supply chain partners in the fall of 2012 in moving significant volumes of grain to market bodes well for this fall. And he thanked partners who had invested in or secured incremental grain terminal capacity in Vancouver over the last 12 months.

Mongeau concluded: "True collaboration and information sharing along the entire supply chain will be the foundation for our joint success. CN is ready to play its role as a key supply chain enabler, helping Canadian farmers and our customers bring this record crop to world markets efficiently."

CN (TSX: CNR) (NYSE: CNI) is a true backbone of the economy, transporting approximately C$250 billion worth of goods annually for a wide range of business sectors, ranging from resource products to manufactured products to consumer goods, across a rail network spanning Canada and mid-America. CN - Canadian National Railway Company, along with its operating railway subsidiaries -- serves the cities and ports of Vancouver, Prince Rupert, B.C., Montreal, Halifax, New Orleans, and Mobile, Ala., and the metropolitan areas of Toronto, Edmonton, Winnipeg, Calgary, Chicago, Memphis, Detroit, Duluth, Minn./Superior, Wis., 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 is "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, including statements relating to the current grain crop being forecast to be one of the largest in Canadian history, 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.

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