By Matt Reese
As a result of its central location, access to major waterways and plenty of railways, Ohio has an abundance of empty shipping containers sitting around. More stuff comes in to be distributed than there is stuff that is going out.
Along with all of the empty shipping containers, Ohio is also blessed with abundant agricultural commodities including corn and soybeans that are in demand around the world. It is only logical that Ohio’s top commodity crops, especially high-end food-grade non-GMO crops, be shipped to the world via empty containers.
“A lot of the premium specialty soybean market is transported in containers. And when freight rates go up for overseas shipping, we start to see more of the commodity grains going into containers,” said Kirk Merritt, executive director of the Ohio Soybean Council (OSC). “We also see export buyers that do not want to buy in bulk, but are interested in a small number of containers instead of buying a tanker load.”
There are several businesses in Ohio that have taken on the challenges of container shipping soybeans in particular, but this state has an inherent disadvantage when it comes to container shipping on the highways.