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Canadian National Railway Company (CNI) Q3 2021 Earnings Call Transcript

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CNI earnings call for the period ending September 30, 2021.

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Canadian National Railway Company (CNI -0.19%)
Q3 2021 Earnings Call
Oct 19, 2021, 4:30 p.m. ET

Contents:

  • Prepared Remarks
  • Questions and Answers
  • Call Participants

Prepared Remarks:

Operator

Good afternoon. My name is Charlie and I will be your Operator today. Welcome to CN's Third Quarter 2021 Financial and Operating Results Conference Call. All participants are now in a listen-only mode. After the speakers' remarks, there will be a question-and-answer session.

I'd now like to turn the call over to Paul Butcher, Vice President, Investor Relations. Ladies and gentlemen, Mr. Butcher.

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Paul Butcher -- Senior Advisor Vice-President Media Relations Investor Relations

Well, thank you, Charlie and good afternoon, everyone and thank you for joining us for CN's third quarter 2021 financial and operating results conference call.

Before we begin, I'd like to draw your attention to the forward-looking statements and additional legal information available at the beginning of the presentation. As a reminder, today's conference call contains certain projections and other forward-looking statements within the meaning of the US and Canadian Securities Law. These statements are subject to risks and uncertainties that may cause actual results to differ materially from those expressed or implied in these statements and are more fully described in our cautionary statements regarding forward-looking statements in our presentation.

After the prepared remarks, we will conduct a Q&A session. I do want to remind you to please limit yourself to one question. The IR team will be available after the call for any follow-up questions.

Joining us on the call today are JJ Ruest, our President and Chief Executive Officer; Ghislain Houle, our Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer; Rob Reilly, our Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer; James Cairns, our Senior Vice President, Rail Centric Supply Chain; Helen Quirke, our Senior Vice President and Chief Strategy Officer, and finally, Keith Reardon, our Senior Vice President, Consumer Product Supply Chain.

It is now my pleasure to turn the call over to JJ Ruest.

Jean-Jacques Ruest -- President and Chief Executive Officer

Thank you, Paul and good evening everyone. Today we will do our prepared statement in two parts. Ghislain and I will cover the highlight of the third quarter, will keep that section tight, and then the team will cover the progress on our September 17 Action Plan.

Well, let's first start with the highlights of Q3 and I'm on page five. All-in, on an adjusted basis, the base business produced an adjusted diluted EPS growth of 10% and adjusted operating ratio of 59%, and free cash flow for the first nine months of just over CAD2 billion. The operating ratio started high in July, resulting from the two-week loss of our CN mainlines in the Port of Vancouver, but improved afterwards in August and September to an adjusted 59% OR as the average for the quarter.

Regarding pricing trend, James Cairns will provide evidence of solid pricing at CN in the last couple of quarters.

Regarding headcount, of the 1050 that we mentioned in our September 17 conference call, about 70% to 75% are completed. At CN, we have a long-term strategy and we railroad for all key stakeholders. We make sure the railroad has enough infrastructure to support the economy. We railroad to reduce carbon emission. We railroad to support our customers, so they succeed and grow in their market. We railroad to produce good return for our shareholders and we railroad to create an engaging and safe workplace for our employees.

I will now turn it over to Ghislain, who will walk us through the quarter.

Ghislain Houle -- Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer

Well, thank you, JJ. My comments will start on page seven of the presentation, which will provide more visibility on our solid third quarter performance.

Revenues for the quarter were up 5% to CAD3.6 billion despite volumes on an RTM basis being down 1% which were impacted by forest fires in July and supply chain constraints throughout the quarter. We delivered pricing well above rail inflation and continued to focus on yield management, optimizing CN's precious network. Adjusted net income was a CAD1.080 billion, with adjusted diluted EPS of CAD1.52, both up 10% versus last year. Other income was down by around CAD30 million versus last year due to a mark-to-market loss on an equity investment in autonomous driving technology. Our adjusted results exclude various non-recurring items related to the KCS transaction costs, including the $700 million, the break fee from KCS. Our adjusted results also exclude a workforce reduction provision as well as advisory costs related to shareholder matters.

Turning to page eight, let me highlight a few of our key expense categories expressed on a constant currency basis. Labor and fringe benefit expense was up 12% versus last year. This was mostly driven by increased wages due to a 5% higher average headcount and a workforce reduction provision, partly offset by higher capital credits from more capital work in the quarter. Excluding the workforce reduction provision, labor and fringe benefits was up only 6%. On a sequential basis, the end of quarter headcount was down 3% compared to the end of Q2. Fuel expense was up 40%, driven by a nearly 50% increase in price, partly offset by continued improvement in fuel efficiency. This quarter saw a significant improvement in equipment rents with a 31% decrease versus last year, driven by lower car hire expense, mostly due to improved online productivity and lower volumes.

Now moving to cash on page nine, we generated free cash flow of over CAD2 billion through the end of September, around CAD50 million lower than 2020, mainly from lower net cash from operating activities, due to higher cash taxes. We have resumed our share buybacks and plan to complete our CAD1.5 billion program by the end of January 2022.

Moving on to page 10, we are reaffirming our full year financial outlook and expect to deliver about 10% adjusted diluted EPS growth versus 2020. While we are now assuming volume growth in terms of RTMs to be in the low single-digit range for the year, we are executing on our strategic plan that has started delivering benefits in Q4. We still expect to deliver free cash flow in the range of CAD3 billion to CAD3.3 billion, which will drive further improvement in free cash flow conversion.

I will now turn the call back to you, JJ.

Jean-Jacques Ruest -- President and Chief Executive Officer

Well, thank you, Ghislain. And before I get into the progress of our September 17 Action Plan, as you already read from the press release, I am retiring effective as of the end of January 2022 [Indecipherable] time as a successor has been appointed to ensure flawless transition. I am not going anywhere and I will deliver [Phonetic] with the team here today around me on the fourth quarter results, and to be sure that we have a successful setup for the 2022 business plan. The Board has also, as you read in the press release, has appointed a search committee for a world-class CEO. The detail on the board committee that will do so is also in the press release.

Back to the business. On September 17, we announced the next step in our strategy to Redefine Railroading for the next-generation. CN will execute on our plan, deliver high-quality service to customers and generate enhanced and sustainable return for all shareholders. Our long-term goal remains to consistently deliver double-digit EPS growth. I would like to begin by recapping our 2022 objective. We are targeting CAD700 million of additional operating income for next year. We intend to use a balanced approach, including optimizing railroad productivities, and labor costs. We also expect to adjust our capital spend to 17% of revenue. We can do this without compromising our absolute commitment to safety and customer service because of the current good condition of our network and by putting to good use the technology investment we made in recent years.

Another major component of our plan is lowering our operating ratio, starting with 57% in 2022. Achieving 57% next year will unlock significant near-term value while maintaining and balancing our commitment to customer service and safety. We will achieve it with operational excellence, rationalizing our cost structure, price, and finally, volume, when grain returns late next year. We are assessing opportunities to go lower beyond 2022, but responsibly, and we will -- there's -- would be same -- say more to that in the new year. We are targeting EPS growth in the range of 20%, return on investment capital in the range of 15%, and about CAD4 billion of free cash flow for 2022.

I am pleased with a quick progress thus far and the initial positive feedback received from shareholders and stakeholders, both.

I will now turn it back to the team who will provide an update on how we started to implement the key initiatives that will deliver result in Q4 and in 2022. Ghislain?

Ghislain Houle -- Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer

Okay. On page 13, we have already made considerable progress on our total operating income improvement of CAD700 million for 2022. For the CAD250 million in labor, we have already completed around 75% of the reductions identified on our September 17th call. We will be substantially complete by the end of the year, which will provide a full year impact of these reductions in 2022. For the CAD300 million in purchase, services and material and other items, we have already secured around CAD100 million of initiatives in the past month of which a few examples include the reduction of contractors through the entire Company, both in the field and at headquarters, a reduction of IT applications, aggressively storing and retiring older locomotives, which will reduce purchased services and material costs associated with their maintenance. Finally, we'll deliver CAD150 million in additional price initiatives as we continue to enhance our yield management strategy.

I will now turn it over to Rob.

Robert Reilly -- Executive Vice-President and Chief Operating Officer

All right. Thank you, Ghislain. As stated on September 17th, operational excellence, our commitment to safety and service to our customers have been and will continue to be cornerstones in our strategy. All of our core operating and safety metrics have improved over the past couple of years, leading to greater efficiencies and improved customer service. We continue to build on our positive momentum through our [Technical Issues]. A big part of our operational excellence is in operating the railroad sustainably. Our fuel efficiency for Q3 was an all-time record.

Our position as the industry leader from a fuel efficiency perspective underscores our commitment and enhances our operating performance and profitability. CN's industry leadership and sustainability and success in operational excellence have been achieved through a continuous and concerted effort by the team. We are on track to deliver all-time best in productivity in our operations, fuel efficiency, and most importantly, the safety of our employees. We are running a safe, efficient, and sustainable operation that consistently meets the needs of our customers.

I'll now turn it over to Keith and James to outline CN's growth vision. Keith?

Keith Reardon -- Senior Vice-President, Consumer Product Supply Chain

Thanks, Rob. Current worldwide port congestion, especially on the US West Coast highlights the CN network Intermodal advantage. Three coasts, 13 proven uncongested port gateways, several of that are meaningfully expanding their capacity. Single line, single-owner access from East Coast to the US Midwest links the efficient gateways to where the markets are and where they will be. Our inland terminal network is well established, yet continually improving. State-of -the-art terminal and container asset technology-backed investments are creating capacity and efficiency, improving safety, and improving the customer experience. The Intermodal story for CN is strong with decades of opportunities ahead.

James, I believe you also have some great long-term carload markets that are developing.

James Cairns -- Senior Vice-President, Rail Centric Supply Chain

Yeah. Thanks, Keith. I've never been more excited about our long-term carload growth potential than I am today. Our unique geographic reach and exclusive access to the Port of Prince Rupert will help us be a leader in carload growth over the next several years. Canadian grain recovery in Q4 2022 will be followed by emerging new renewable fuels and refined petroleum products projects that will propel our growth through 2023. What I am most enthusiastic about, our new green energy carloads, related to Alberta's massive growth in hydrogen energy projects, evidenced by the slew of recent announcements around the Alberta Industrial Heartland. Hydrogen-related carloads have the potential to be up the scale of crude-by-rail at its peak, but with long-term rateability. Our end-to-end supply chain model that helped us create new export capabilities for propane is easily replicated for blue ammonia, and other hydrogen drive energy carloads.

If we move to the next slide. We routinely get asked questions about revenue per RTM. Our view is that this measure is a better proxy for mix than it is for price. That said, since December 2018, when we started our customer-centric journey under JJ's leadership, CN has seen the fastest growth in revenue per RTM for all Class 1s to the end of Q2 this year. We believe a better proxy for price is, well, price. As you've heard us say before, we consistently price ahead of railway cost inflation. In the last five years, our corporate same-store price has been on average nearly 2% greater than rail cost inflation. We have been preparing for accelerating railway cost inflation by sequentially increasing our price each quarter since Q4, 2020. Our various incremental capacity auction programs provide real insight into the market rate for our valuable capacity, allowing us to smartly price to meet the market, without undue volume risk.

I'll turn it back to JJ.

Jean-Jacques Ruest -- President and Chief Executive Officer

Thank you. Thank you, James. Thank you, Keith. Thank you, Rob and Ghislain.

Looking to 2023 and beyond, the CN team is focused on delivering solid results and cease the opportunity to further improve our operating ratio, as we continue to prioritize safety, railroading for customers, railroading to reduce carbon emission via balanced approach. Our leadership team has a clear vision. We are focused to be a growth company and produce financial value over the short and long term. CN's future is bright. Our network is great. Our ambition is to build a premium railway of the 21st century, investing in technology, investing in capacity, delivering service that attract more customers to the rail network, improve safety, reduce carbon emission, create the essential capacity for the economy and reduce our costs. Just as CN pioneer the industry focus on efficiency, we are on our way -- well on our path to now be well-positioned to lead the industry to the next transformation of a modern, digital scheduled railroad.

To conclude, CN is taking a balanced approach. We are investing in the success of our customers, success of our workforce and communities, and as well as return for our shareholders.

We will now turn it back to the questions. Charlie?

Questions and Answers:

Operator

Thank you. We'll now begin with the question-and-answer session. [Operator Instructions] The first question comes from the line of Ken Hoexter with Bank of America. Please go ahead.

Jean-Jacques Ruest -- President and Chief Executive Officer

Good afternoon, Ken.

Kenneth Hoexter -- Bank of America Merrill Lynch -- Analyst

Hey, good afternoon. JJ, maybe I can start with one question. But I guess you're announcing your retirement, maybe your thoughts on the outlook here. You talked about decelerating growth, maybe talk about -- I know Keith and James talked about kind of the leaders of that, but talk about your outlook on the economy here and then your thoughts as you step away.

Jean-Jacques Ruest -- President and Chief Executive Officer

Yeah. So where we're at, I think it can. Where we're at right now, I think we're in a world of increasing inflation, that is why we are driving price. We're in a world where volume is sort of -- it's positive in some places, not so positive in other places. Therefore, we have to adapt to that. And I think we're also in a world where it's time for us to be ready, setting for the future, that's why there's such a focus on the railroad of future, we call that VSR. Leveraging technology using talent, making sure we are relevant to our customers, all of them big and small, and creating value. So I think the rail industry has a huge opportunity, is to be more relevant to the supply chain, working with ecosystem at the port, making the best mousetrap to attract more vessel, it also has an opportunity to attract more freight from the highway [Indecipherable] the railroad. It doesn't come in at the same operating ratio, I think it's well understood by all, but it's very much part of the long-term success of the rail industry is competing with other mode and doing so in a way that's relevant to customers whose freight is -- they are the one to decide where they spend their money. So I think the rail industry has a great future. It just needs to remind of the basic. You got to have as many customers as you want to make these rail assets as valuable as possible. Thank you.

Kenneth Hoexter -- Bank of America Merrill Lynch -- Analyst

Thanks.

Operator

Your next question comes from the line of Walter Spracklin with RBC Capital Markets. Please go ahead.

Walter Spracklin -- RBC Capital Markets -- Analyst

Thanks very much. Good afternoon, everyone.

Jean-Jacques Ruest -- President and Chief Executive Officer

Good afternoon.

Walter Spracklin -- RBC Capital Markets -- Analyst

So, I guess -- some big news here with the announcements and when I look at what changes you are putting forward, obviously with your strategic plan, there is changes now at the Board level and management. It seems to be fairly or closer aligned to what TCI is asking for. I guess my question is, is there room for an engagement here now following these announcements. Do you think that that's possible? Is that going to be something you're going to be looking for? Is this more of an independent approach that you plan on taking with regards to the CEO search and proceeding as planned with the March 22nd meeting?

Jean-Jacques Ruest -- President and Chief Executive Officer

Thank you, Walter. And if I may say, I think it's maybe the other way around. It's maybe TCI is getting closer to what CN's long-term strategy is. I hear more comment about -- first of all, when they ran out their press release earlier this week, it was a bit of a vague presentation, but no clear target. And the press release is not a plan in itself. But they were talking about the things like long-term emission, where customers came out more balanced. And I think regardless of -- but regarding further engagement with TCI, I won't specifically speculate for that. I'll let the board engage with the activists, but the strategy that we have here is very, very clear, right. We want to balance for railroad for all stakeholders. We want to be a growth Company, we want to be a safe Company, we want to be a Company who has enough capacity, so that when demand surge or peak, and we've seen this in the past that we don't let the economy stranded. And then we create an environment where our industry is successful, not because it's a duopoly or [Indecipherable] duopoly within North America, but successful because, more and more customers want to do business with us, and more and more customers want to use our port by choice and more and more customers want to leave the highway and join our respective [Indecipherable] network.

So I think that's long-term. That's where the future is. And we talked about technology often, it needs to happen. We need to have technology that makes the railroad safer, that's more about the maintenance side, technology that create capacity without necessarily having to lead our more track. And technology also that makes the service to our customers who all buy supply chain. They don't buy a rail service, they buy a combination of transportation mode. And therefore, having technology that makes it easier for them to track and trace and maintain the inventory that they have. So it's maybe a little more sophisticated than how low can you go on the operating ratio.

Walter Spracklin -- RBC Capital Markets -- Analyst

Appreciate the color. Thanks, JJ.

Jean-Jacques Ruest -- President and Chief Executive Officer

Thank you.

Ghislain Houle -- Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer

Thank you, Walter.

Operator

Your next question comes from the line of Cherilyn Radbourne with TD Securities. Please go ahead.

Jean-Jacques Ruest -- President and Chief Executive Officer

Hello, Cherilyn.

Cherilyn Radbourne -- TD Securities -- Analyst

Thanks very much. Good afternoon. In terms of the pricing environment, could you speak to what the spread versus inflation looks like as we sit today and how much of the book of business has been repriced in this type rate environment and how much is left to go through year-end and into early 2022?

Jean-Jacques Ruest -- President and Chief Executive Officer

Thank you. James will cover that. He is my pricing expert.

James Cairns -- Senior Vice-President, Rail Centric Supply Chain

So thanks for the question, Cherilyn. So, very interesting. We've been preparing for wrapping up of inflation here since Q4 of 2020. So we've been very careful, a lot of our contract renewals not to go out too far because it was an uncertain environment. We've got a pretty big chunk of our business that's going to be available for repricing still Q4 this year and into next year. I don't know the exact number, but it's somewhere in the range of about 35% to 40% of our entire book of business, so we can reprice. So we were pretty excited about that, we'll make sure that we're pricing well ahead of railway cost inflation. And to-date, this year, we've been just over 5% on our same-store price. So it is varying out there. We're able to secure these price increases, because the customers realize they need the capacity that we have. Increasingly, as we move into 2022, that capacity is going to have more value, and creating that level of certainty for customers with a contract in hand with CN is worth something to our customers. We'll continue on that path, we'll be pricing ahead of railway cost inflation, I think a good market somewhere between 1.5% to 2% ahead of railway cost inflation is where we think we are going to be balance of this year and into 2022.

Thanks for the question, Cherilyn.

Jean-Jacques Ruest -- President and Chief Executive Officer

Thank you.

Cherilyn Radbourne -- TD Securities -- Analyst

Thank you.

Operator

Your next question comes from the line of David Vernon with Bernstein. Please go ahead.

Jean-Jacques Ruest -- President and Chief Executive Officer

Go ahead, David.

David Vernon -- Sanford C. Bernstein -- Analyst

Hey good afternoon, guys. Thanks for taking the time. Hey Keith, could you maybe talk a little bit more about what kind of tailwind we can expect on international Intermodal pricing given where steamship rates have headed over the last sort of 12 to 18 months and the timing for when some of your international Intermodal contracts may come up?

Jean-Jacques Ruest -- President and Chief Executive Officer

Go ahead, Keith.

Keith Reardon -- Senior Vice-President, Consumer Product Supply Chain

Thanks. David. Price has a lot of different aspects to it. I'll start off with our same-store price and then I will talk about some other things that we're doing. But the same-store pricing, you are right. We have had some contracts come up. We will continue to have contracts come up. It happens all the time. In these last two contracts, they came up big ones. We had the opportunity to look at the book of business and actually upscale our business. There's some business that we did not think was compensatory to the workload that we put into it, so we jettisoned some of that business. And we didn't do it in an adverse or adversarial manner. We worked with our customers and we said, you know what, we'd rather focus on these areas and we provide those services to you.

So we will continue to do more of that. We started in our upscaling, as James mentioned. But we also are looking at taking our latent capacity that's been created by some of these supply chain issues, and we're selling that at premium rates, working with our customers. So we're taking every opportunity to talk to our customers to figure out what they want to accomplish and then we're creating value for them and we're usurping that value for CN as well.

Thank you, David.

Jean-Jacques Ruest -- President and Chief Executive Officer

Thanks, David.

David Vernon -- Sanford C. Bernstein -- Analyst

Thanks for the color. JJ, if I could squeeze one more in here. Is there a timeline for the Board's search process?

Jean-Jacques Ruest -- President and Chief Executive Officer

So the Board is looking for the best of the best, and they want to take the time to make sure that we find and determine the best of the best for the next generation of CEO here at CN. So they are not on the clock, it doesn't mean that they will go slow. They'll want to be sure that -- it's a very important task. But at the same time, we're not going to put out a specific time at which this will be done. As I said in my opening comment, and I think it's also in the press release, I'm staying till the end of January or whenever as required to do the smooth transition. And at this point, we're looking for the quality, and sometime quality takes a little time. So I would [Speech Overlap] refer you to the back to some of what's said in the press release. It was worded very specifically.

David Vernon -- Sanford C. Bernstein -- Analyst

Thank you.

Jean-Jacques Ruest -- President and Chief Executive Officer

Thank you.

Operator

Your next question comes from the line of Konark Gupta with Scotiabank. Please go ahead.

Konark Gupta -- Scotiabank -- Analyst

Good afternoon and thanks for taking my question. So I just wanted to understand, given the global supply chain disruptions we are seeing right now, how the steam line shipping customers you have, their thinking about the whole dynamics here. Are they looking to incrementally look to Canadian West Coast ports, especially Prince Rupert or they are looking more sort of East to kind of deepen just away from Long Branch and Ely, so [Indecipherable]?

Jean-Jacques Ruest -- President and Chief Executive Officer

So maybe, Konark, I can start and Keith can add a lot of color, that's his space. But one of the comments I made earlier, not sure if it was understood that as some of the business we decided to renew some of delaying that created capacity at Rupert. Rupert was sold out. That created the capacity at Rupert, so now Keith and his team have been able to do some new vessel. You've heard about these pendulum vessel, smaller vessel that some of the retailers in North America are now going out and charter themselves. So they only pick up freight at a few ports in Asia, and they drop it off at one port in North America and they want to avoid at all cost, Ely Long Beach or any places where vessel are delayed. For us to be able to do this and do this at a premium price, it has to be with other customers, when we we're not on the contract. And also do this at the Port Rupert, which now has some latent capacity because some of the business that we and the customer would not see eye-to-eye on the yield of it, we've actually let it go.

Don't know if you wanted to talk about the future, Keith and how many more months or quarters this may last?

Keith Reardon -- Senior Vice-President, Consumer Product Supply Chain

Yeah. And just to point out, the supply chain disruptions and what's happening to these vessel strings are what's causing some of this transitory volume issues that you've seen for Rupert and Vancouver down for us. So that was the factor that got us taking a page out of our playbook to go back to some of these customers, as JJ pointed out. I will also say that year-over-year, we've seen the East Coast ports that we service, as well as the Gulf Coast ports that we service, we're up 20% over last year, and that's a diversification approach by the customers, not only the steamship lines, but the people that are in the boxes. They're saying I want another gateway. And that's why the CN network is set up so great for that. We've got three coast, three different ways they can get in, 13 different ports. So that's why we're so happy that we have this network, that's why we're so bullish on the future.

Jean-Jacques Ruest -- President and Chief Executive Officer

Thank you, Konark.

Konark Gupta -- Scotiabank -- Analyst

Thank you.

Operator

Your next question comes from the line of Jason Seidl with Cowen. Please go ahead.

Jason Seidl -- Cowen & Co. -- Analyst

Thank you, Operator. I wanted to talk a little bit about the headcount reductions. You said you are about 75% through that. Did all those come in 4Q here early on? And what's the mix sort of between the US and Canada with those reductions?

Jean-Jacques Ruest -- President and Chief Executive Officer

So I think Ghislain will cover that. Just to let you know, we're extremely focused on executing on that, Jason and we actually track this daily to a great detail. So, Ghislain?

Ghislain Houle -- Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer

Yeah. Jason, I will give you a bit of color on the mix of headcount. As we said, we have about 75% out of the 1050 that we announced on September 17. I would tell you close to 600 is the management, and close to 200, call it a 190 is Union. I would say the lion's share of it is in Canada and that's what I would tell you between Canada and the US, but I'm giving you the color here on the management versus Union.

Jean-Jacques Ruest -- President and Chief Executive Officer

Yeah. I know, Jason, that people are typically tracking headcount in the US for Class 1 railroad. Most of what we've talked about is happening in the Canadian side.

Jason Seidl -- Cowen & Co. -- Analyst

Yeah.

Jean-Jacques Ruest -- President and Chief Executive Officer

So you won't see that headcount for US network, because most of our management position is on the Canadian side and most of the reduction that we've done or are doing, you'll find them on the Canadian headcount and the US headcount as well. I don't know if that help.

Jason Seidl -- Cowen & Co. -- Analyst

That helps -- I'm sorry, I might have missed it. Did you say they were -- most of that was done by 17?

Jean-Jacques Ruest -- President and Chief Executive Officer

Most of them -- well, they were done after 17, right [Speech Overlap]. And then after that, we started to roll-out and 70% to 75% of that is done as we speak.

Ghislain Houle -- Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer

As we speak, this is as of today, give or take. It's about 75% of the 1050 that are done.

Jean-Jacques Ruest -- President and Chief Executive Officer

So that will impact the fourth quarter results, current result.

Jason Seidl -- Cowen & Co. -- Analyst

Gentlemen, I appreciate the time and color, as always.

Jean-Jacques Ruest -- President and Chief Executive Officer

Thank you, Jason.

Operator

Your next question comes from the line of Brandon Oglenski with Barclays. Please go ahead.

Brandon Oglenski -- Barclays -- Analyst

Hey good afternoon, everyone. And JJ, I just want to acknowledge, it's quite an extensive career at CN, so best of luck on the other end.

Jean-Jacques Ruest -- President and Chief Executive Officer

Thank you.

Brandon Oglenski -- Barclays -- Analyst

But I guess it would be great to get some perspective from you because obviously you were part of a team earlier when CN was viewed as really best-in-class. And I guess what are you looking for your, the person that takes over for you, what do you think they need to get right here, to get back into the driver's seat of being the best railroad or at least the best viewed railroad in North America?

Jean-Jacques Ruest -- President and Chief Executive Officer

Well, thank you, Brandon. Yeah, I joined CN back in the month of May of 1996, which was about six months after CN got -- was privatized. I think the landmark of CN is to be innovative, to lead the industry, to take risks, and to do things that, maybe early days or early years not understood or accepted by others. This is what scheduled railroading was all about. Lot of naysayers at the time, it was not going to work. The IPO was a big thing that a lot of people at that time, especially Canadian investors thought it was not going to work. And then where we're at today is we're looking to the future, not the past. CN is [Indecipherable] in 2025, what it was in 2010. CN is looking to be what the future will look like. So we're looking for be a growth Company. I think we want somebody who is focused on growth, somebody who is focusing on bringing technology into the Company. Somebody was focusing on having a workforce that presents today society. So bringing talent from where it is, different gender, diversity, inclusion, a workplace that is fit with the young people or the people [Indecipherable] attractive for etc.

So I think the future is where you want to be. As rightly said, you want to go with your heart [Indecipherable] not where the park was in 2010 or 2015. So I think that's really -- when you look for CEO in early 2022, you want to have some of them who can actually get the company the way it needs to be in 2025. I don't know if that helps.

Brandon Oglenski -- Barclays -- Analyst

It does, JJ. Thank you.

Ghislain Houle -- Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer

Thank you, Brandon.

Operator

Your next question comes from the line of Jon Chappell with Evercore. Please go ahead.

Jonathan Chappell -- Evercore ISI -- Analyst

Thank you. Good afternoon. Ghislain, we've talked about the cost initiatives and the pricing strategy as part of the broader 2022 strategic plan. No comments on the reviews of some of the non-core businesses and maybe the trucking units specifically, how are those reviews gone and are you still on plan for the impact that those are expected to have on hitting the targets for next year?

Ghislain Houle -- Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer

So Jon, Helen Quirke is actually working those [Indecipherable] will give you the color you need. Helen?

Helen Quirke -- Senior Vice-President and Chief Strategy Officer

Yeah. Thanks, Jon. On our non-rail assets review, we've commenced the sale process for the Great Lakes suite of vessels, and we have a number of interested buyers on that. This is a profitable business, but we believe that we do not need to own the vessels to protect the rail revenues and maintain a stable supply chain for our customers.

With regards to Transics, it is accretive to EPS, and we've almost doubled the Intermodal business of Transics since the acquisition. The profitability of the core Transics business is in line with best-in-class for similar types of assets and we're still working through the options to potentially reduce our ownership interest while maintaining and growing the rail revenues there. We will keep investors posted on this. But our message remains that we are a great Company. You've heard it numerous times today, and we will continue to find ways through acquisitions and partnerships that will drive more business to our network over-time. Thanks for the question, Jon.

Jonathan Chappell -- Evercore ISI -- Analyst

Thank you.

Jean-Jacques Ruest -- President and Chief Executive Officer

Thank you, Jon.

Operator

Your next question comes from the line of Amit Mehrotra with Deutsche Bank. Please go ahead.

Amit Mehrotra -- Deutsche Bank -- Analyst

Hey JJ, best wishes. It's been a remarkable and successful career, so wish you the best whatever next you do. I wanted to follow-up on Brandon's question, your commentary about the new CEO. There's obviously another world-class executive on the sideline, so to speak, that TCI is bringing forward. And I just want to make sure we're not reading the search. These searches can be long. They can be very expensive. Have you guys already considered this other candidate that TCI is bringing forward and do you feel like that's not the right way CN wants to go with? What's the strategy around doing an expensive long search when you do have someone that's tried and tested, willing to take over the reigns obviously.

Jean-Jacques Ruest -- President and Chief Executive Officer

Yeah. Thanks for the question, this is an important question. But the board will consider all candidate, inside the Company, outside the Company, male and female. And there is a surge, meaning that we will be very thorough and be sure that the next person who replace me is the person that can really carry the CN strategy on a go-forward basis. So that takes a little time and that takes a very specific process. We're committed to the process. The Board has set up a CEO search committee, which is led by Shauneen Bruder. Shauneen is our Chair of the Governance Committee and with her we have Robert Phillips who is a retired, Chief Executive Officer or Chairman of British BCR and then you also have Kevin Lynch as well as Justin Howell who joined the Board from the Cascade.

So this group will be doing -- reviewing what is the profile for the CEO of the future at CN. They will look for all candidate known and unknown. The search will remain confidential. We won't talk about candidate before the committee has a recommendation to make to the Board and the whole Board of CN eventually as it did in the past will weigh-in in the final decision. So we know there is some candidate out there, at least one, but I think the world is bigger than that. And before the Board make a decision, you want it to be very, very thorough.

Amit Mehrotra -- Deutsche Bank -- Analyst

Okay. That makes sense. Thank you very much. Appreciate it.

Jean-Jacques Ruest -- President and Chief Executive Officer

Thank you.

Operator

Your next question comes from the line of Brian Ossenbeck with JPMorgan. Please go ahead.

Brian Ossenbeck -- JPMorgan -- Analyst

Hey good afternoon, thanks for taking the question. Wanted to come back to technology and what sort of benefits you think you're going to get from that across the network and maybe some of the injury ratios, the safety, the fuel efficiency, capacity. We've heard about some of these initiatives for a number of years now, so I don't know if we're on the tipping point of them actually being able to generate some benefits along those lines, maybe perhaps, helping reduce the headcount. So just wanted to understand like what type of benefits you're expecting in the plan for 2022 specifically, as it relates to some of these technology initiatives?

Jean-Jacques Ruest -- President and Chief Executive Officer

Yeah. So Rob is probably the closest to that. Most of technology that would apply right now is in the space of operation and mechanical. Rob, you want to talk about technology in your space?

Robert Reilly -- Executive Vice-President and Chief Operating Officer

Yeah, absolutely. And thanks for the question. So probably the best example we have right now is our Autonomous Track Inspection Cars. We now have 10 of those that are running from coast to coast to coast covering our core main. In some sub-divisions, they're covering 15 to 20 times the previous inspection. That's really given us real-time information as we see it today and that's allowing us to make better decisions really. When you look at our capex for next year, a big part of that is based on using that technology, especially when it comes down to how we replaced ties and are undercutting. That's a big part of our basic maintenance. So we are seeing those results. When you talk about fuel efficiency, we continue to raise the bar. We are the industry leader. Just in the last two years, just from our initiatives alone, we save CAD75 million, just from those initiatives. That's excluding fuel price and consumption, so really good work. We're continuing to see it.

Ghislain, I don't know if you want to mention anything regarding the actual dollars for next year, but we are seeing the benefits.

Ghislain Houle -- Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer

No. I think in terms of dollars as you remember, Brian, we were shooting for a range of CAD200 million to CAD400 million. I think that we slowed down a little bit in 2020 because of COVID, as you can imagine. But if you account for 2022 and 2023, I think we will be in the high range of those benefits and we're continuing to track those very, very closely, so quite bullish about technology.

Jean-Jacques Ruest -- President and Chief Executive Officer

And maybe technology also has a big part of our future on the commercial side. I don't know if Helen or Keith wants to talk about some of the stuff that we do technology-wise that is where we really aim to attract more business or make business more sticky in the CN.

Keith Reardon -- Senior Vice-President, Consumer Product Supply Chain

I'll start, Helen, but we're actually deploying some technologies now at our Intermodal terminals that are improving the efficiency of the terminal, the capacity of the terminal, and the safety of the terminal and that's going very, very well. It's enabling us to do more business through the terminals. It's creating a better customer experience for our trucks. They come in and out of the terminal. But Helen, you've got a few, no. Okay.

Brian, with that, we'll thank you.

Jean-Jacques Ruest -- President and Chief Executive Officer

Thank you, Brian.

Brian Ossenbeck -- JPMorgan -- Analyst

Okay, I appreciate that. And best of luck to you, JJ.

Jean-Jacques Ruest -- President and Chief Executive Officer

Thank you.

Operator

Your next question comes from the line at Benoit Poirier with Desjardins Securities. Please go ahead.

Jean-Jacques Ruest -- President and Chief Executive Officer

Salut, Benoit.

Benoit Poirier -- Desjardins Securities -- Analyst

Yes. Good afternoon, everyone, and best wishes, JJ, on the next steps. With respect to the supply chain issues, could you maybe provide some color on the business segments that are impacted the most and whether it should become a tailwind going into 2022 as this becomes better.

Jean-Jacques Ruest -- President and Chief Executive Officer

Maybe I can start, but definitely when you look at the port business, business is somewhat down because things on the ocean are not working the way they should. So we're turning this into a positive that we keep described earlier. So now that we have some capacity at Rupert that on paper, we were not going to be available, he can do so now take some spud business, shallow service, pendulum service, with only Rupert as the only port to call on the North American side.

And on locomotive, I think everybody knows the story, the whole intermodal [Phonetic] industry is struggling to get shipped, which mean that you and I are probably going to be deferring our purchase of a new car to next year when we have more choice of brand and color and that's going to be a story for 2022.

Do you want to add James to what's happening in little carloads?

James Cairns -- Senior Vice-President, Rail Centric Supply Chain

I would say the weak out liner we have is Canadian grain. I think everybody knows that story. The first 10 weeks this current grain crop were down over 1.5 million tonnes, that's bad news. The good news is we're in a very unique position and that we have some strong tailwinds with coal. We got potential of two coal plants reopening on our network. We got the full year effect of the tech deal that's going to drive us through for at least the first half of 2022. All-in, we expect that coal is going to make up almost half of that gap we have with Canadian grain crop. And then of course, the grain crop gets reset Q4 next year and we got some very high hopes.

So if you think about coming out of 2022, we've got strong momentum with a recovery in grain through end of 2022 and 2023 and then we've got some significant carload growth projects related to new crush plants and new activity around renewable fuels, carries us forward 2024 and beyond. That's when we start seeing the significant growth in carloads related to the hydrogen economy all around Alberta. And I got to tell you, like I said on my prepared remarks, this could be big, this could be of the scale of crude-by-rail. But this is going to be long-term ratable carloads that move by rail. Not rail when it's convenient, but rail all the time, so it's a very exciting prospects for the future. So thank you very much.

Jean-Jacques Ruest -- President and Chief Executive Officer

Yeah. Carloads from Alberta to the West Coast via Rupert, Vancouver. There is also a positive story on iron ore export. CN is doing iron ore exports from the Gulf and then we have a trial over Rupert. And coaster at CN is all export, either via the US Gulf or via the Port of Prince Rupert.

Thank you, Benoit.

Operator

Your next question comes from the line of Jordan Alliger with Goldman Sachs. Please go ahead.

Jean-Jacques Ruest -- President and Chief Executive Officer

Good afternoon, Jordan.

Jordan Alliger -- Goldman Sachs -- Analyst

Good afternoon. A lot of the focus always is on operating ratio, the 57% target next year. But sort of thinking beyond that, not operating ratio, but sort of given the customer-centric pivot that you have done, what's the update and thoughts around the longer-term revenue projection for you guys, not necessarily next year, but sort of beyond that as you -- maybe we are at the optimal OR, but how do you think about the revenue growth long-term?

Jean-Jacques Ruest -- President and Chief Executive Officer

Thank you for the question. It's also -- I find it's a refreshing way to look at railroading. Operating ratio is a key KPI, but it's a by-product of the business. So we're focusing on growth. So CN is looking to bring more volume in the railroad. It makes the railroad more profitable, more viable when you have more freight on it, as close to the market freight. So we're a growth Company. We want railroad for customers, so we need to have a customer-centricity mindset and culture at CN to do that. That was an area where you can attract freight on the railroad. Port business is another area where we can speak with other railroad network to bring business on the CN.

And James mentioned on the carload side, now for us to attract companies like G3, for example, who announced recently two more grain elevators on loop track on 50 cars being built on our railroad, because they like the way we railroad for them as much as we railroad for shareholders. So all these things really are -- that's the way of the future, is to use a network for what it really it's meant to be, to move a lot of freight, and to be an enabler of the economy and to attract people like G3 or Dow Chemical to make major investments on our line, or within our line with Canadian National switching as an example.

So I think these are the things that really are what VSR is all about, is use the network, because it's very fuel efficient, lower carbon emission, it's safer than stuff on the highway and use it for all it has the potential to be is to be a big enabler of the economy and participate into what's good here in North America. Thank you.

Operator

Your next question comes from the line of Scott Group with Wolfe Research. Your line is now open.

Scott Group -- Wolfe Research, LLC -- Analyst

Hey, thanks. Afternoon, guys. JJ, you made some comments at the beginning of the call about July versus September operating ratio and maybe if you can just give some color there. And then longer-term, it sounds like maybe there's a little bit of a change from the September call as the business grows past '22 that there should be further margin improvement, maybe just a little color there and how you're thinking about operating leverage longer-term.

Jean-Jacques Ruest -- President and Chief Executive Officer

Okay. Thank you, Scott. So as I said in my comment, and that's important to clarify that, lowering the operating ratio starts with 57% in 2022. And we're not saying 57% is the end of it, but we say 57% in 2022 and we're confident what I could deliver against that is one way the railroad would balance is one way to make sure that we create something in it for all stakeholders, users, and shareholders long-term, short-term, and making sure we don't leave the economy behind for whatever reason the demand for freight transportation, especially in Canada is going to surge back at some point in the future. So it's not about how low we're capable to go and how fast we get to that, it's more about how low should we go and over what period of time.

But starting with 57% in 2022, potentially some permanent improvement beyond that, let us go back to the trade here back early in the New Year. And volume obviously is an important point. I mean, as much as the Canadian grain crop right now is a huge disappointment, because we are set up for it, we have the capacity to move it, but it's not at the rendezvous. We are planning for an average crop for late next year. And therefore, growth revenue ton mile growth will be back at CN. This year, I think if grain was to be normal, we would have -- James, how much GTM growth next year?

James Cairns -- Senior Vice-President, Rail Centric Supply Chain

6%.

Jean-Jacques Ruest -- President and Chief Executive Officer

6%. So it's 6% over the time you put in grain, the fact the crop's not there. So definitely it's a growth story and definitely 57% we believe is where we should go next year, not as low as we are capable of going, but it's more about where we should go and it starts with 57% in 2022. And after that, we'll see more to come in the future earning call. Thank you, Scott.

Scott Group -- Wolfe Research, LLC -- Analyst

Thank you.

Jean-Jacques Ruest -- President and Chief Executive Officer

Sorry. Yeah. You had a question about August and July. So maybe I think on that point, Rob would be in better position to talk about sort of the movement in our OR kind of month-to-month and what happened here in July at CN.

Robert Reilly -- Executive Vice-President and Chief Operating Officer

Hey Scott, even though we don't talk about OR in terms of months, if you just -- if we look at June and where we're at headed into July, of course, we lost the bridge right at the beginning of July for two weeks and then that was followed by a ministerial order. So there's no doubt that July's performance impacted the quarter. But if you look at June to July, there's nearly a 10-point swing in OR and the same thing when you look at September to July. So hopefully that gives you a little bit of color of what we're looking at there.

Jean-Jacques Ruest -- President and Chief Executive Officer

Yeah, July was quite challenging from solid June. And then we had -- we lost the main line and all that goes on with it.

Scott Group -- Wolfe Research, LLC -- Analyst

Thank you.

Operator

Your next question comes from the line of Tom Wadewitz with UBS. Please go ahead.

Jean-Jacques Ruest -- President and Chief Executive Officer

Hi, Tom.

Thomas Wadewitz -- UBS -- Analyst

Yeah. Good afternoon. JJ, I had one that's kind of a minor follow-up on a prior question and then another one if you will. I guess on timing, is the timing of your retirement at the end of January intended to kind of coincide with when the Board would be done with their decision? Is that why you said it accordingly or it seems almost implicit in that.

And then I guess the second question just would be your broader thoughts on supply chain and kind of we hear so much about labor constraints because there's not a ton of visibility to that easing up. So I don't know if you want to offer some broader thoughts about rail capacity improvement and volume growth broadly in '22, whether that's pretty visible or is labor a significant risk to kind of how CN runs or North American railroads run. Thank you.

Jean-Jacques Ruest -- President and Chief Executive Officer

Thank you. So on the first one, I'm not going anywhere, right. I've announced my retirement but at same time, my job and as I said in my opening comment, the whole team here on the table, our job is to deliver a very solid result in the fourth quarter, to finish on a high and prove to our investors and our customers that our 2022 business plan is real and we are really setup to enter 2022 on a very solid footing. And I want to be here to deliver those results back to you guys and girls sometime in January.

In terms of the timing, I know the Board is not on a specific timeline. They will find and determine the best candidate when they are ready. And therefore, my mandate for the Board is to be -- no, my heart is to CN. I've been here for 25 years. I want to do what's right for the Company. And I will leave when the Board needs me to leave, that is when the Board has the proper successor to be ready to step into job. So that's where the flexibility and the beauty of all this come together. But very committed to the fourth quarter, committed to setting the company strong for whoever the next CEO to have a great solid 2022 and committed to be here till -- to find that the Board has announced the person that will succeed me, whether it's a candidate from inside or outside, from anywhere around the world or North America, male or female. So I'm here at the disposal of the Board and our shareholders and I've done this long enough. My heart is to make sure that we do the right thing for the next step of CN.

And regarding the supply chain, I think maybe James and Keith may have a better view than me on that part of the question.

James Cairns -- Senior Vice-President, Rail Centric Supply Chain

Yeah. I would say if you look at -- out of 2022, every single segment across the end is going to be growing in 2022, with the exception of our grain business. And grain, as we talked about is a big hit. I pivot back to say here we're so lucky to have coal as the backfill for grain as we go into 2022. And then again, just looking forward about all the growth prospects that start kicking in the second half of 2022 to 2023, it's something really to be excited about and it's going to really create some opportunities for us as we move forward here.

Jean-Jacques Ruest -- President and Chief Executive Officer

And Rob on labor. Availability of labor to move the railroad. I know there's some question on some of the US property around United States, but what about CN?

Robert Reilly -- Executive Vice-President and Chief Operating Officer

Yeah. So we're in good shape from a labor standpoint. We do see the sporadic as we have over the last year-and-a-half with the pandemic. We do see the sporadic outages that impact our labor, but really, it's short-lived and we're in good position here to handle it from a labor standpoint.

Thomas Wadewitz -- UBS -- Analyst

Great. Thank you for the time. Thanks for the perspective.

Jean-Jacques Ruest -- President and Chief Executive Officer

Thank you, Tom.

Operator

Your next question comes from the line of Chris Wetherbee with Citi. Please go ahead.

Jean-Jacques Ruest -- President and Chief Executive Officer

Hi, Chris.

Christian Wetherbee -- Citigroup -- Analyst

Hey, thanks and good afternoon. Yeah. And certainly, best of luck JJ, in the next endeavor for you. I wanted to maybe ask a little bit, go back to that comment about September being sort of 10 points better than July and obviously, as a function of both, probably, July not being particularly good and September being certainly better and gaining some momentum. But when you think about that, coupled with what you've already announced, headcount reductions of CAD100 million of cost savings that you're capturing here in 2021. I guess I'm curious how you guys think you're sort of running or maybe will be exiting 2021 in terms of that run rate toward the 57%. I guess it's always been our assumption that there are some benefits of removing, say, Great Lakes from the business in order to get to that 57%, so mixing the OR down by the loss of some of those higher OR businesses. But I'm kind of curious what maybe the underlying businesses running up today based on some of the progress you've been able to make so far.

Jean-Jacques Ruest -- President and Chief Executive Officer

Maybe just without getting into guidance by quarter or by month. And just -- we said we have a target of operating ratio of 57% for 2022. And in any railroad, including Northern railroad, there's some seasonality in OR. So December, January, February, March, our peak [Phonetic] winter month, especially in Western Canada where 50% of our business is, so the operating ratio for these four months is higher than the other eight months, you got to take that into account, number one. Number two, we have made progress during the course of the summer, as Rob mentioned recovering from the lag effect that we have lost the mainline to Vancouver for two weeks. And also the work we've done here on labor and on the September 17. So we're making progress. And as said, we're really committed to enter 2022 on good footing to deliver against our commitment.

And if you want to add some other things, Ghislain without getting into --

Ghislain Houle -- Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer

Yeah.

Jean-Jacques Ruest -- President and Chief Executive Officer

-- too deep in the guidance.

Ghislain Houle -- Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer

Yeah. I can add Chris that based on what JJ is mentioning, we are very confident to deliver our earnings guidance of 10% EPS growth. So I mean we have essentially 10 months behind our belt. So we have two months left, so we're very confident of that and the OR will come with that guidance on EPS. I mean it will be the result of that EPS growth.

Jean-Jacques Ruest -- President and Chief Executive Officer

Yeah. And also the result of the -- as you know, we've been at this for a while. The last two weeks of December sometime are kind of a crapshoot, meaning we could have good weather, bad weather, or customers might decide that they shut down because they want to save on labor cost and sell the product they have in their warehouse. It all depends how they view the economy. So for the last few weeks of the quarter and fourth quarter, sometimes, our demand spikes up, sometime demand spike down. It all depends how everybody is reading the economy and what they want to do with some of the closing the year-end book with lots of product on-hand or will have nothing on-hand. But we're working hard to do what we said we would do. And I think that hopefully, you see that in our third quarter result and you see that we've been able to bounce back since the challenge of the month of July, which was after a fairly solid month of June. Hopefully that helps.

Christian Wetherbee -- Citigroup -- Analyst

Thanks for the color. Appreciate it. Thank you.

Jean-Jacques Ruest -- President and Chief Executive Officer

Thank you.

Operator

Your next question comes from the line of Steve Hansen with Raymond James. Please go ahead.

Steve Hansen -- Raymond James -- Analyst

Yes. Good afternoon. Thanks for squeezing me in here. I'll just echo with everyone else. JJ congrats on a fantastic career. But as it relates to my question, in the new focus in the '22 plan, I'm just curious whether the Board is contemplating any changes to the compensation structure of management to align around this new plan as we're looking forward, I guess, beyond even 2022? Thanks.

Jean-Jacques Ruest -- President and Chief Executive Officer

Yeah, it's a good question. And it's a question that the Board ask itself at all time. Every year, there is a discussion around how -- what kind of compensation system should we have and whether or not we make some change for the compensation systems so that it stays current about who we are today and what we want to be tomorrow and those discussions take place all the time, including in current times. So I would say, it's just an ongoing discussion whether or not we have an activist or not, this is something that the Board always look at. And they always look at the discussions in terms of the long-term and what is that they define from the CN long-term strategy and it needs to be aligned with that. So we have nothing to say about what it might be the future. In any event that's enough for the management to do that. It's for the Board and -- but it's an ongoing discussion at all time, not just in current time. Thank you.

Steve Hansen -- Raymond James -- Analyst

I appreciate the color.

Operator

This concludes the question-and-answer session. I would like to turn the call over back to Mr. JJ Ruest.

Jean-Jacques Ruest -- President and Chief Executive Officer

Well, thank you. Thank you, Charlie and thank you for joining us today. We're into exciting time at CN at all time. We worked very hard this summer on closing a transaction, which was very strategic to us and very much in part of the long-term strategy of growing our network. We convinced a lot of supporters, convinced the Board of KCS twice, could not get the regulators to be on side. So now we're very focused on our current network and the great network that we have and exploiting that the best as we can. And then to that effect, we also rolled out our 2022 business plan early back in September 17 and that's where we're very focusing on.

As I said earlier, I'm not going anywhere. I'm here with the team to deliver a very solid fourth quarter result and make sure that we sail through 2022 with the year setup that we could be successful next year in producing the result that we talked about. And I think today we've also clarified some of those things that maybe are more clearer to you at this point. So between now and then, stay safe and we'll see you in January. Thank you.

Operator

[Operator Closing Remarks]

Duration: 60 minutes

Call participants:

Paul Butcher -- Senior Advisor Vice-President Media Relations Investor Relations

Jean-Jacques Ruest -- President and Chief Executive Officer

Ghislain Houle -- Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer

Robert Reilly -- Executive Vice-President and Chief Operating Officer

Keith Reardon -- Senior Vice-President, Consumer Product Supply Chain

James Cairns -- Senior Vice-President, Rail Centric Supply Chain

Helen Quirke -- Senior Vice-President and Chief Strategy Officer

Kenneth Hoexter -- Bank of America Merrill Lynch -- Analyst

Walter Spracklin -- RBC Capital Markets -- Analyst

Cherilyn Radbourne -- TD Securities -- Analyst

David Vernon -- Sanford C. Bernstein -- Analyst

Konark Gupta -- Scotiabank -- Analyst

Jason Seidl -- Cowen & Co. -- Analyst

Brandon Oglenski -- Barclays -- Analyst

Jonathan Chappell -- Evercore ISI -- Analyst

Amit Mehrotra -- Deutsche Bank -- Analyst

Brian Ossenbeck -- JPMorgan -- Analyst

Benoit Poirier -- Desjardins Securities -- Analyst

Jordan Alliger -- Goldman Sachs -- Analyst

Scott Group -- Wolfe Research, LLC -- Analyst

Thomas Wadewitz -- UBS -- Analyst

Christian Wetherbee -- Citigroup -- Analyst

Steve Hansen -- Raymond James -- Analyst

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