Port congestion, shipping container issues to persist through the year

The head of the Soy Transportation Coalition doesn’t expect West Coast port congestion and shipping container shortages to clear up anytime soon.

Mike Steenhoek tells Brownfield weather, labor and pandemic-related challenges will likely remain through 2022. “We’re attaching a garden hose to a fire hydrant right now,” he says. “We’ve got a lot of product on both the outbound and inbound of high demand but yet we have an infrastructure that’s not well positioned to accommodate that.  You’re seeing a lot of frustration among importers and exporters.”

He says there can be up to 100 vessels with containers off the coast of California waiting to be unloaded. “An agricultural exporter who needs to have those empty containers to load full of soybeans, DDGs or other agricultural products to make the return journey to Asia, having access to those containers when you need them in the volume that you need them is really problematic.”

And, he says once products are on U.S. soil transporting them via trucking, rail or by waterway is another issue.

Steenhoek spoke with Brownfield during the Nebraska Soybean Association and Nebraska Corn joint lunch.

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