The Rail Connection

Saskatchewan Minerals Inc. - Sodium Sulphate is Our Business

How the Canadian Pacific Railway and Their Freight Pricing Help Us Serve Our Customers Better

Since the first shipment of sodium sulphate from Chaplin decades ago, Saskatchewan Minerals has made the most of its strategic location on the main line of the Canadian Pacific Railway (CP), and developed a positive business partnership along the way.

“Our relationship with CP Rail goes back many, many years to when Saskatchewan Minerals first started shipping out sodium sulphate. We work together to develop and explore new opportunities, and come up with solutions to enable us to reach our customers in all of the various marketplaces,” says Anita Stettner, Regional Accounts and Logistics Manager.

Saskatchewan Minerals Inc. - Sodium Sulphate is Our Business

It is important for us at Saskatchewan Minerals to be able to share information on CP’s pricing with our customers because they are such a large part of our own costs. And unlike many of our competitors, Saskatchewan Minerals does not build a profit margin on top of the freight cost. When you receive pricing from us, the freight cost you see is the direct cost based on getting your product to you, with no additional fees from Saskatchewan Minerals.

Today, product reaches customers across a vast network of rail, which has always been a key competitive advantage in meeting the growing demand.

Naturally, then, CP Rail freight plays a large part in setting prices at Saskatchewan Minerals.

“CP has a disciplined pricing strategy that takes into account a number of variables that supports growth and investment,” says Nancy Morton, Director of Customer Service and e-Deployment Service Management with Canadian Pacific Customer Services. “Setting freight rates is a complex process based on a number of internal and external factors that our company closely monitors and analyzes on an ongoing basis.”

Our relationship with CP is one of understanding. From our CP senior reps to the train workers, we get co-operation and understanding.

- Anita Stettner, Regional Accounts and Logistics Manager.

Staying Competitive

In a market serviced by other providers, CP recognizes the need to remain competitive and deliver a superior service offering.

“As the safest Class 1 railway in North America, we are firmly committed to providing the products and services that will enable our customers to grow their businesses at home and around the world,” says Nancy. “A customer can move a lot at one time — an average freight train represents about 280 semi trucks.”

Their level of service continues to set CP ahead of its competitors, as well as the company’s willingness to understand the needs of Saskatchewan Minerals customers. That is often reflected in its pricing strategies.

Looking Ahead

The relationship is about more than strategic location and service. It is also about competitive pricing with an eye to the future.

“CP provides us with a yearly contract covering our long-term customer moves. They also provide us with rates to new customers and opportunities we are not currently shipping to today,” says Anita. “They work with us to help expand certain market areas where they can be more competitive.”

“CP understands as much as we do that we need to get the product there on time, when our customers need it and at a fair cost. They are partners working together with us to get the product to our customers and make sure they are taken care of,” says Clayton Millar, Regional Accounts Manager.