Tag Archives: grain shipping

Midwest soybean farmers to help pay for Pacific Northwest export terminal; rail service is risky for harvest this year.

Soybean exports are one of the US major sources of export revenue. China is the biggest consumer of soybeans that are exported, about half the US crop. The US competes with Brazil for the Far East soybean market.

Most soybeans to China are for pig feed. However, they can be used to produce biofuel as well.

The new port, in Aberdeen, WA, near Seattle and Tacoma, will export soybean meal. Six state Soybean Associations will chip in to cover the cost, along with the Soy Transportation Coalition. They’ll contribute $900K of the cost.

The terminal will have rail service, involving an interchange between the BNSF and UP main lines, which are predominant in service to Midwest farmers and their elevators, and the Puget Sound and Pacific line, which goes right to the port.

Like the agricultural shipping terminal near Oakland, CA, this facility ought to be of great value in exporting soybean products.

Elsewhere, corn farmers in the US Midwest are worried that railroad inefficiency and poor reliability will prevent grain exports from being shipped as the harvest comes on. A good summary of the situation is in the second article.

Many elevators rely on rail transport to get their grain to a port for export. Some can use barges down the Mississippi, but others, in locations more than 200 mi. from a Mississippi port, use rail at local sidings at elevators. Railroads will need to up their game to support the US export market for agricultural products.

Joanna Marsh Thursday, September 1, 2022

Midwest soybean farmers to help pay for Pacific Northwest export terminal – FreightWaves

 Joanna Marsh Friday, September 2, 2022

Grain shippers eye hiccups on rail network

Zelenskyy urges Greek owners to stop moving Russian oil

There’s more to this story than just some Greeks shipping oil for Russia. Apparently Russia has been engaged in shipping Ukranian wheat via ‘dark shipping’ for a while now. Some Greek shipping magnates believe the sanctions on Russia are ‘bullshit’. With that belief, they feel little concern for making them work. Since Greek shipping moves a large amount of oil, this is a problem for the EU and for people who support Ukraine.

In dark shipping, ships turn off their AIS tracking when they are near ports where suspect cargo can be loaded. While draft upon entering and leaving can be observed, you can’t tell what’s been loaded or unloaded by the location where they docked. It’s an ideal way to transport forbidden materials without actually opting out of the universal tracking system.

All’s fair in war. And business is war. There’s no love here.

Sam Chambers July 6, 2022

Zelenskyy urges Greek owners to stop moving Russian oil  – Splash247

Grain shippers want regulators to press railroads on service issues

Long delays for trains on rail networks are worrying for farmers and users of grain. Significant delays have been observed, including full trains sitting while customers waited for the grain onboard. Rails have been suffering trying to keep trains moving. Many of rails’ complaints seem to be related to the workforce. However, it isn’t clear that rails have actually reached the point where they can impact these delays.

The figures shown in the graph are marked. Norfolk Southern seems to be far and away the worst offender in delays at the origin of train service. But the delays still seem to be large.

Grain consumers and producers rely on train service to move the product. And rails have a responsibility to provide it. How can the two be gotten together?

Joanna Marsh Tuesday, March 29, 2022

Grain shippers want regulators to press railroads on service issues – FreightWaves