Grain Transport Update

March 24, 2011
The Rail Freight Service Review was launched in 2008 to address ongoing issues with rail freight service and was conducted in two phases: analytical work to achieve a better understanding of the nature and extent of problems within the logistics chain (including shippers, terminal operators, ports and vessel operators), followed by consultations with stakeholders on issues and recommended solutions.

The panel consulted with 85 different stakeholders and received 141 written submissions from across the rail-based logistics chain. On October 8, 2010, the review panel released its interim report to the public. Then, after considering feedback from stakeholders, the panel submitted its final report to the Minister of State (Transport) on December 22, 2010.

Government of Canada Response

The government accepts the panel’s commercial approach and intends to implement the following steps to improve the performance of the entire rail supply chain:

  • Initiate a six-month facilitation process with shippers, railways and other stakeholders to negotiate a template service agreement and streamlined commercial dispute resolution process;

  • Table a bill to give shippers the right to a service agreement to support the commercial measures;

  • Establish a Commodity Supply Chain Table, involving supply chain partners that ship commodities by rail, to address logistical concerns and develop performance metrics to improve competitiveness;

  • In collaboration with Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada, Transport Canada will lead an in-depth analysis of the grain supply chain to focus on issues that affect that sector and help identify potential solutions.

To view the report and more information, please visit: