Naber takes CN to task during CTA hearing

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SASKATOON, Sask. — Naber Seed and Grain and Canadian National (CN) Railway are butting heads over the rail’s level of service in a Canadian Transportation Agency (CTA) hearing.

Naber insists that CN’s practice of rail-car rationing has cost the seed company a bundle of money. However, CN contends that it is an age-old practice aimed at reducing backlogs and ensuring that cars are unloaded on time when they reach their destination.

CN spokesman, Hedley Auld, says that when there are demands for more rail cars than can be unloaded on time at port, then not all requested cars will be sent.

But Naber officials say that CN goes too far, and sent only 64 per cent of the requested rail cars between Nov. 26, 2000 and Apr. 22, 2001, which is what spurred the complaint with the CTA.

Naber is requesting the CTA allow Hudson Bay Railway compete with CN and begin servicing Naber’s facilities.

CN accuses Naber of being a troublesome customer, insisting that 679 of 1,657 orders for cars between April, 2001 and January, 2002 were cancelled or changed by the seed company. Meanwhile, the railway insists it delivers about 98 per cent of requested cars.

The falling out between the two companies is somewhat ironic, considering that CN helped fund the Naber processing plant in Melfort that is the center of the dispute.

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