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2014-05-01 at 16:17

Resolute cuts shift due to lack of rail cars

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By Jamie Smith, tbnewswatch.com

THUNDER BAY -- A shift at the city’s Resolute Forest Products sawmill is the latest casualty of a long and cold winter.

The mill has been forced to cut one of its three shifts for four months, affecting up to 30 people, as a shortage of railcars has led to an inventory back-up.

"When we can't bring our product to market that becomes a challenge for us," Resolute spokesman Xavier Van Chau said.

It's a problem the company has never seen.

"It's new for us. It's new for the rail company."

CN's Mark Hallman said Resolute isn't alone in waiting to ship their product. The cold winter meant less cars could be on the tracks. Now that the weather is warmer a backlog of shipments is leading to congestion all over North America. A 30 day trip is now taking 40.

"Basically it has a significant overall effect," he said.

CN and Resolute say they're working together on a solution. Van Chau said Resolute would obviously be happy if the shift was back to work in less than four months.

"We're invested in the people at the facility. It's frustrating for us to be in a position to have to make this temporary elimination of one shift," he said.

Hallman said CN is working hard to meet demands of all industries.

"It's going to take some time but we're making slow but steady progress," he said.


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Comments

We've improved our comment system.
moi says:
Hmm..this is how it starts.
Welcome to the wonderful world of..."company says layoffs will run longer than planned".
5/1/2014 7:21:33 PM
Who-cares says:
It's a shame that CN can find enough rail cars, and staff to haul the thousands of oil tankers that are rolling through the city, as evidenced by the hundreds that line Gore St on almost a daily basis. But can't seem to find enough staff, or rail cars to haul grain or lumber into or out of town. Guess we know who is willing to pay the most to ship their product
5/1/2014 9:21:38 PM
Iceman says:
Not explained very well. Why does cold mean less cars on the track. Trains all look just as long in the cold as in the summer
5/2/2014 8:59:17 AM
The Beaver..... says:
@ Iceman
The contact area of a locomotive wheel to the Rail is no more then the size of a quarter. The co-efficiency of steel on steel takes a dramatic drop in very cold Temperatures. On top of that Air for braking purposes has to travel the length of the train and is very prone to freezing and brake malfunction.
5/2/2014 12:47:46 PM
Dudebro says:
All these kind of big companies are running processes right at the bleeding edge these days anyway.
If the dollar takes a slight hit, companies are panicking.
If demand slightly drops for a product, companies are fearing bankruptcy almost the same day now as they run margins so tight.
If a company has to sit on stock for even a very short time now, they suddenly have to make major cuts to avoid huge losses. Its pretty sad that so many companies are running so close to the edge of staying alive now.
I suspect alot of it is expected profits not necessarily a major change in costs. If a company suddenly isn't making what its shareholders "demand" then its huge panic and drastic measures must be taken instead of just a little suffering for a short time until things pick up. Its corporate greed and its not going to change.
5/2/2014 1:59:51 PM
The Beaver..... says:
Dudebro
A lot of the shortfall has nothing to do with profits. There is the little problem of logistics. Try shopping at the Superstore on a Saturday after 5 o'clock and the produce Dept. is bare short of a few mushy tomatoes, and that has been going on for a long time
that is the result of "just in time" delivery from the Truck to the Shelve.
5/2/2014 2:51:10 PM
Bugs Bunny says:
Bombardier had a strike vote today, and...

More bad news soon to be the news...

So sad !!
5/4/2014 12:09:43 AM
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