Every day in the United States, countless numbers of shipping containers arrive to bring consumers the products they desire. After their arrival, these 20 or 40-foot-long containers are ready to ship the next cargo load. Many U.S. farmers have been taking advantage of these empty versatile containers, and are loading them with grain to ship around the world. Archer Daniels Midlands (ADM), a large agribusiness company, constructed a 275-acre container shipping rail yard facility which receives thousands of containers for U.S. farmers to take advantage of. The growing importance of the export market to U.S. farmers has contributed to the rise in demand for shipping containers and will only continue to rise in both the short and long-run.
Although not official yet, it has been reported that American farmers have shipped a record $140 billion worth of product overseas in shipping containers; the last year. This has been a break-through in the U.S. agribusiness sector and has led to new methods of shipping product, such as containerization. In contrast to the traditional method of shipping massive amounts of a product, container shipping allows buyers to receive smaller shipments. This method has been extremely accommodating for a sluggish global economy and in countries without the infrastructure to receive large deliveries. Another reason to utilize shipping containers is to protect the product. If farmers want to deliver a product that has been well taken care of, not crushed in the bottom a ship, they need to have it in smaller quantities. In addition to shipping containers, a growing demand in specialized grain products has contributed to the record number of products shipped overseas.
As container freight is becoming a crucial part of a business that gets inventory to customers who desire smaller shipments, U.S. farmers will continue to take advantage of containers that enter the U.S. every day and are ready for immediate use. ADM’s new facility can currently handle 50,000 containers every year and the company hopes to triple its capacity in coming years. As you can imagine, this is great news for farmers who want to tap into the overseas demand for products grown in the United States, as well as for investors who are reviewing container investments.