Canadian Pacific Railway expanded its ability to carry intermodal cars on trains 45 percent over the past two years, a company official says, and expects more gains as part of a plan to add capacity by improving productivity.
CP stretched the maximum number of intermodal cars per train from 63 in 2008 to 90 this year, Kathryn McQuade, executive vice president and chief financial officer, told the Credit Suisse Automotive & Transport Conference in New York this week.
That was the strongest improvement in productivity across CP’s business lines, she said, and the Calgary, Alberta-based railroad is targeting an improvement of another 16.7 percent, giving the railroad the ability to haul 105 intermodal units per train.
By The Numbers: U.S. Intermodal Container Traffic.
“We see that as inexpensive capacity to add,” McQuade said.
CP is targeting productivity improvement by increasing train lengths across its network and across all its business lines.
The biggest strides have come so far in intermodal cars, but McQuade said CP is targeting a 47 percent improvement in its grain car capability, taking the maximum grain cars per train from 114 to 168 cars. Hauling capability for potash exports, a major bulk commodity for the Western Canada railroad, expanded 15 percent since 2008 and CP expects maximum potash cars per train to grow another 20 percent to 170.
Coal car capability has grown only slightly, but CP expects to build its maximum coal cars per train 18 percent under the productivity plan, to 152 cars.