JUN 10, 2020

CN Essential Railroaders

The Men and Women of CN - An Essential Service

ONE TEAM is a CN philosophy. It means that, whatever we do, we do as a cohesive unit with a unified vision and direction. Every day, we apply this philosophy to the work we do, getting essential products to market.

Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic and ensuing global disruption, our ONE TEAM approach had been even more vital to our operations. Every day, team members and departments work together demonstrating how our company has the ability to adapt to adverse conditions and weather difficult times to keep operating successfully and keep the economy moving. Our customers are our partners, working closely with us to ensure our teams’ mutual health and the fluidity of supply chains.

To be able to keep operating and transporting essential goods, we require strict sanitization practices. CN’s Procurement and Supply Management team realized early in the pandemic that CN’s regular vendors for sanitization equipment may not be able to keep up with the increased demand due to the strong demand.

Wipes Making

Running out of these products was not an option.

They quickly made the decision to secure the chemical products needed to internally produce sanitization kits for employees and locomotives. This involved working closely with Chemical Products customers, like Recochem, who quickly mobilized to ensure CN could be supplied with sanitizing materials.

In just three weeks, a supply chain of cross-departmental teams emerged inside the organization, working closely with our customers - now suppliers - to help CN procure the necessary health safety supplies.

The wipes are being delivered to strategic distribution points in Canada and the US, making them available for the needs of CN’s field employees even in times of global scarcity.

Working as ONE TEAM

The team leading the project collaborated with chemical experts within the Petroleum and Chemicals business unit to supply them with insight about the materials needed and to communicate with customers who could supply bulk isopropyl alcohol, used for making sanitizer and sanitizing wipes. Account managers engaged with customers like Recochem, a producer of high quality chemicals for use in transportation, household and industry.

“Based on our partnership with CN and whilst we are inundated with requests for this scarce resource, we felt it is important to put CN and Canadian transportation up at the top of the list as an essential service. We are very appreciative of all the hard work that CN and all of its employees are doing to maintain operations in this continued period of uncertainty, ” explained Ross Donald, Business Director at Recochem Inc

After procuring 50,000 liters of material, as well as industrial quantities of dry wipes, an assembly line formed to create CN’s own canisters of disinfecting wipes and verify the quality to ensure they’re fit to use in the sanitization process.

Ensuring the health of our team and the security of essential supply chain

CN’s commitment to safety includes to the preventative healthcare of our team. We’ve implemented rigorous self-isolation guidelines and are pulling out all the stops to provide our mission-critical field employees with the means to do their jobs safely to keep the economy moving and store shelves stocked with important goods we all need during a pandemic.

Creating an internal production line and working closely with our customers to support the creation of sanitizing kits for CN’s essential railroaders is just one example of the creativity and collaboration that has emerged during the pandemic.

To learn more about CN’s operational plans and hear messages from our leadership team about how CN is responding to the pandemic, you can read more on our COVID-19 response page.