CME Concerned about Economic Impacts of Railway Blockade

OTTAWA (February 11, 2019) — Canadian Manufacturers and Exporters (CME) is urging federal and provincial officials to work with law enforcement to take the appropriate steps to allow critical commercial and passenger rail service to be restored. The negative impacts of the interruptions, which has been on-going for six days, are having a real effect on the economy, and are already being felt throughout the manufacturing supply chain.

Rail shipping is a critical service in the global supply chains of Canadian businesses. Manufacturing, agriculture, and natural resource operations all rely heavily on rail for both imports and exports of goods traded within North America and the rest of the world.

Continued rail services are essential to the prosperity and long-term competitiveness of the manufacturing sector. It is critical Canadian manufacturers have a reliable, functional transportation network. Manufacturers loaded an average of nearly 4,500 rail cars per day in 2016, for a yearly total of 1.62 million rail cars. Manufactured goods make up about 47 per cent of all rail car loadings in Canada. Redirecting shipments to other modes of transport is a not practical solution as it disrupts supply chains, delays shipments and leads to added costs or penalties for missed delivery schedules and, possibly, the loss of future business to global competitors.


Since 1871, Canadian Manufacturers & Exporters has been helping manufacturers grow at home and, compete around the world. Our focus is to ensure manufacturers are recognized as engines for growth in the economy, with Canada acknowledged as both a global leader and innovator in advanced manufacturing and a global leader in exporting. CME is a member-driven association that directly represents more than 2,500 leading companies who account for an estimated 82 per cent of manufacturing output and 90 per cent of Canada’s exports.


Stefi Proulx
Director of Communications
Canadian Manufacturers & Exporters
C:  613-292-6070 | | @CME_MEC