Until recently, the way to transport soya was almost exclusively in bulk, that is, the grains are loaded directly from the silo to the ship's hold. Conveyor belts dump the soybean in continuous flows until they fill the bulk ship's cargo capacity - on average, sixty thousand tons.
This year's great harvest has forced new solutions to the lack of carriers of this type of merchandise. Not only ships, but also the number of trucks suitable for bulk transport proved to be insufficient.
The most common and practical method for solid goods are the large sealed metal boxes: the container. Parts, manufactured products and a multitude of other items are preferably transported using this equipment.
After a truck or train takes the container to the port, cranes pack it in the cargo ships. The process is reversed at the destination port.
The super crop not only woke exporters up to the problem of the finite limit of logistics, but also served to show new solutions for small exporters. Loading grain in containers solved some other problems that left small traders out of the international market. Several shipments in this modality have already been executed and showed several advantages.
Although 20 tons in each container seems little, close to the 60 thousand tons that are loaded on each ship, the fractioning and accommodation of the cargo becomes quite practical.
The reduced cost of sea freight, plus the agility of shipping, has drawn a new perspective that is the export of grain to size. This practice attends the market in a comprehensive way and reaches new processes that overcome structural deficiencies and speed up the flow of production.
The benefits are innumerable and, mainly, open a new scenario for Brazilian foreign trade. Take a look at some of them:
Container transport also solves another problem of the bulk method: loading in rainy weather. When loading using cranes, work can be done 24 hours a day, seven days a week. This avoids waiting at the port, which costs daily fees that make the freight more expensive.
The modality does not depend on the structure of large ports and also reaches export and import markets that cannot receive large ships. This is the case of ports with less infrastructure, as in some cases of Asian and African countries.
The use of the container also helps in more strategic exports. While a bulk ship unloads only at the port of destination, containers can be shipped to several locations during the same trip. There is also the interesting option to anchor in a port and redistribute the container cargo to vessels with different destinations.
The forecast of growth in exports signals positively for the use of this type of packaging and transport. Companies in the sector already estimate a 500% increase in demand for the service, which involves work from unloading the product, loading the grain and customs clearance.
How about you? What did you think of the information on the export of soy in containers? Tell us about your experiences!