When The Mosaic Company was looking for dedicated rail service to improve fluidity and increase production at its mines, Cando Rail & Terminals did that and more.

Our solution: Embedded ourselves in Mosaic’s supply chain and worked closely with the Class 1 railway and Mosaic to streamline operations and improve efficiencies for all.

The Problem

As the world’s largest supplier of potash and phosphate, it is key for The Mosaic Company to optimize the speed and flow of railcars in and out of the mine sites to move more product. Mosaic needed improved rail service that would create more fluidity at its mines to improve the entire operational cycle.

Mosaic wanted rail switching crews to be on hand 24/7 to provide dedicated switching and railcar mechanical service. It also wanted a rail service provider that would work alongside its team so it would understand Mosaic’s operations and could spot opportunities for improvement.

The Solution

Cando Rail & Terminals took over the switching and mechanical services at all three Mosaic potash mines in Saskatchewan. Before start-up, Cando worked closely with Mosaic and CP to develop operating plans and facilitate the efficient movement of full loads and empty cars. CP granted Cando various operating authority on Class 1 track, including running rights along their mainline subdivision between Esterhazy and Bredenbury, approximately 23 miles. Cando has the rail experience, safety systems, and regulatory approvals to be able to operate on Class 1 main line track.

Across all mines, Cando builds unit trains that are between 75 and 170 cars long for CP to hook and haul. At Mosaic’s Esterhazy mines, Cando also works with CN and builds up to 205 car export trains. The crews also perform a mandatory air brake test on each car and make sure the trains are ready for the Class 1 railway. All the work is done in advance by Cando, which allows the Class 1s to move the product to Mosaic’s customers faster and improve cycle times on the railcars.

The Impact

Cando now moves more than 20 million tonnes of potash a year, handling 90 per cent of all potash produced in Canada. Since working with Mosaic, Cando has helped the company achieve numerous production records.

Cando also saves CP time in Esterhazy; CP crews can reduce their yard time on through trains from three hours to one hour and 45 minutes, saving an average of 80 hours of train speed per month. Since Cando took over switching at all three Mosaic mine sites, the Class 1 railyards are more fluid and less congested with cars waiting to be switched and air brakes tested.