Heartland shippers feel 20-foot box squeeze

Twenty-foot containers are better than 40-foot containers for many ag products, and for machinery. Neither of these completely fills a container, and the smaller size means less blocking. But the containers are in short supply in the Midwest.

Twenty-foot containers are also ideal for products like soybeans, which have considerable Midwest-to-Asia container trade. They are a better size for shipments, because they are a bit smaller. We can’t always get a full forty-foot container because of the order size, which for premium products tends to be smaller. High-quality non-GMO beans often are not grown in the large bulk quantities.

Fewer products are shipped to the Midwest in 20-foot containers. And apparently, many of the 20-footers from the Far East are simply reused in California and Washington, rather than moving east. Goods could even be transshipped there to 53-footers for the ride into the Midwest. There’s no shortage on the West Coast.

This kind of problem is what plagues logistics operators of all kinds, as well as shippers. A simple little issue, very hard to do anything about. How do we cope with it?

By Chris Gillis Tuesday, April 28, 2020

Link: https://www.freightwaves.com/news/heartland-shippers-feel-20-foot-box-squeeze


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