The Illinois Soybean Association created a series of infographics demonstrating the ways in which containers are used efficiently and create opportunities for many industries. Many aren’t aware of the numerous ways in which shipping containers made transportation easier, thereby supercharging global trade.
The first container shipped from Newark to Houston in April 1956. This set off an era of tremendous efficiency in global shipping of goods and created a standardized unit that could be carried by any truck, train or container ship. Containers today carry anything from bananas to electronics to soybeans. Some ships can carry an astonishing 11,000 containers that are 20ft long.
Currently, container shipping underpins that global economy is moving $4 trillion of goods every year. Read more at https://www.ilsoy.org/.
Illinois, the global leader of producing and exporting soybeans, is uniquely positioned to efficiently export soybeans through container shipping or bulk barge to international markets around the world. With about two-thirds of Illinois soybeans destined for export, it’s crucial to ensure an efficient transportation process. Containers and bulk shipments of soybeans from Illinois can travel through the Gulf of Mexico, the Pacific Northwest, California and even the St. Lawrence Seaway to reach Asian markets.
Not only is container shipping faster, but it also results in higher quality soybeans by preservation in container. Standard freight containers are loaded and sealed, then transferred onto ships, trains and trucks with the goods secured throughout the transportation process. Shipping via container is on average 42 days in comparison to 51 days via bulk vessel shipping. For more information, visit: http://bit.ly/2WM8OuP
Illinois is the global leader in producing soybeans. In 2018, Illinois farmers grew nearly 700 million bushels of soybeans, the highest of any state. If Illinois was a country, it would be the 4th largest soybean producer in the world. Not only does Illinois offer a large amount of soybeans, but the state also offers specialty and preserved quality beans.
With container shipping, soybeans are able to travel to international destinations while maintaining quality throughout the supply chain. Containerization limits damage from fungi, insects and foreign material. For food-grade, identity-preserved and non-GMO soybeans, container shipping is the preferred method.
Beans can be loaded on or near the farm and remain in the same container throughout the journey, from truck to rail to ocean vessel. This, in turn, reduces handling and prevents any potential damage. For more information about the benefits of container shipping, visit: https://bit.ly/2VDkYWp
A recent report from the Illinois Soybean Association and the Federal Grain Inspection Service reveal containers shipping soybeans to Asian regions has spiked by 40 percent since 2014-2015.
Primarily led by Indonesian purchases, containerized shipping is experiencing an overall increase in demand for shipping U.S. soybeans to the specified region and shows no signs of slowing down. Additional information noted that container shipments of soybeans are expected to increase by 18 percent through August 31.
“Wider use of containers, thanks to the huge supply of empties in the Chicago area, has resulted in industry investments to increase the visibility and viability of this option,” said Eric Woodie, a trade analyst with the ISA checkoff program.
“There’s a major opportunity to take advantage of empty containers sitting idly in the U.S. and return them to export markets with soybeans. Not only does this help alleviate a significant problem in global trade, but it offers great value to international buyers, soybean exporters and Illinois farmers.”
Countries listed with the highest containerized soybean shipping include Indonesia, Thailand, Vietnam, and Malaysia. Indonesia is reported as the top buyer with a total of 1.4 million tons of soybean shipments. This method of shipping provides smaller companies the ability to minimize inventory investments while preventing lengthy delivery times, ultimately supporting added preservation.