Writing Samples

From Keeping Norampac On the Move
CN, customer magazine

The boxcars roll in daily to the 55-year-old Norampac mill in Red Rock, Ontario, about 70 miles east of Thunder Bay. Scenic Red Rock is nestled between How Mountain’s cliffs and the Lake Superior shore. In this town of 1,400, Norampac is the largest employer. The mill produces unbleached kraft linerboard, destined for plants in Ontario, Quebec, the U.S. and overseas In Red Rock, people know the boxcars arrive around noon each day. You can almost set your watch to it. And that’s the point.

Norampac is a prime example of the success of CN’s guaranteed car supply program. Basically, CN commits to delivering empty cars to shippers on specific dates. In exchange, the customer agrees to fill the cars. Both sides face penalties for failing to comply – CN if it misses a shipping date, and the shipper if it doesn’t use all the cars.

Guaranteed car supply is all about reliability – reliable delivery for the shippers, and reliable demand for CN.

“Since we started the contract, CN has been able to supply over 99% of our car orders,” says Jim Quart, general manager of Transportation at Norampac’s Mississauga, Ont. office. “That’s an improvement, and it certainly helps in our planning.”

How important is a guaranteed car supply to Norampac? “At Red Rock, we only have the warehouse capacity for one day’s production,” notes Quart. “If we don’t get the cars in, there’s a bottleneck. We would have to shut the machines down.”

That’s an expensive proposition. Quart figures that shutting down for as little as an hour could cost Norampac about $30,000.

« Back to Writing Samples


Writing Samples