Canadian National Railway (NYSE: CNI) CEO JJ Ruest said he expects the company to bounce back in the aftermath of weeks of rail blockades – likening their impact to November's strike.
Ruest told BNN Bloomberg that the blockades will hurt CN, but that he remains confident in meeting its 2020 outlook.
CN is in the process of ramping up freight service after shutting down its eastern Canada network in response to the blockades, which were established to protest a pipeline's route through an indigenous group's territory.
Ruest suggested that the effects may be similar to those CN experienced in November 2019, when rail workers went on strike for eight days, reducing capacity by 90%.
The strike "was quite significant to CN results, and we might be on that kind of scale," Ruest said.
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The weeks of rail blockades across Canada generated a great deal of talk about the threat to the economy and supply chain.
The impacts were real and severe, especially for intermodal trucking companies and some ports such as Halifax. Grain shipments also took a large hit, too.
But Canadian economists have said the impacts will be temporary. Bigger concerns loom due to coronavirus, which is hitting West Coast ports, and a much larger cloud of mounting consumer debt.
Hammer down, everyone!
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