American containerized grain shippers are feeling the effects of the tight
container market and there’s no relief in sight.
very difficult to get containers to move grain,” said Greg Northey, vice
president of corporate affairs for Pulse Canada. About 30% of what Canadian
pulse producers export travels via containers.
Rates have gotten so high that it makes
the whole supply chain uncompetitive
have gotten so high that it makes the whole supply chain uncompetitive, Northey
said. Pulse producers can book a container, but they risk not having any
containers available at the ports, he said.
container rates are the result of ocean shipping companies wanting to meet
demand for containerized imports, according to agricultural consultant Jay
O’Neil and recent FreightWaves reports.
the return of empty inland containers in the U.S. to be delayed, even for a day
or two, is now very inconvenient and uneconomical. Providing containers filled
with grains a week or more time to unload at Asian destinations is even more
inefficient in these tight times,” O’Neil said. “So from an ocean shipping
company’s perspective, backhaul grain shipments are no longer as attractive as
they have been. This has obviously caused problems, and increased costs, for
sellers of U.S. containerized grains.”
good news, however, is that we are still seeing containerized export shipments
of grains and improved interest for such from Asian buyers. The increased rates
and difficult logistics have not yet stopped this type of business. But stay
tuned,” O’Neil said.