Producer cars have shown surprising resilience in the post-CWB monopoly world.
Producer car orders are pouring into the system after a slow start and service appears to be good, even though many thought there would be no place for them without a monopoly.
“I thought the producer cars were going to disappear,” said Quorum Corp. manager Mark Hemmes at the Fields on Wheels conference Nov. 6.
“We’re seeing a fair number of producer cars and they’re moving.”
Hemmes’ surprise reflects that of many in the grain industry, who doubted that the railways would willingly provide producer cars or haul them once the CWB lost the power to confront the railways.
Murray Hamilton, grain shipping manager with Canadian Pacific Railway, said the good service reflects the commitment his company made before the monopoly was broken Aug. 1.
“From our perspective, it was going to be no change,” said Hamilton.
If farmers ordered cars, they would be delivered.
Hamilton said producer car orders fell 27 percent year-over-year in the first weeks of the post-monopoly period, but in recent weeks they have caught up to last year levels and in some weeks exceeded them.