Canadian Railway Committed To Empty Cars

Compiled By Deborah Austin Canadian National Railway Co. (CN) plans to extend its guaranteed empty equipment supply program to all CN-controlled freight cars by November, and has expanded its electronic capabilities so shippers can order and track empty cars. The program -- introduced in July 2000 -- now covers about 70% of CN's targeted fleet. It represents a fundamental change: Empty-car orders are commitments, not forecasts. CN now guarantees delivery on specified "want" dates, in exchange for shippers' commitment to those dates. Financial penalties apply for nonfulfillment. The program helps customers manage inventory and supply chains, and gives CN a more solid demand picture, says COO and Executive Vice-President E. Hunter Harrison. CN has provided 94% to 99% of program-guaranteed cars on shippers' "want" dates. Canadian National Railway, Montreal, spans Canada and mid-America.

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