U. S. Grain Exports: Transportation and Pricing Systems

by Lowell D. Hill, L. J. Norton Prof. of Agricultural Marketing; Univ. of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, Ill.,

Serial Information: Journal of the Water Resources Planning and Management Division, 1982, Vol. 108, Issue 2, Pg. 180-190

Document Type: Journal Paper


Exports of grains from the U.S. in 1979 were 4.6 billion bushels (121.1 million tonnes) and are projected at 6 billion bushels (157.9 million tonnes) by 1985. Over half of these will flow through the Gulf Ports. The problems involved in moving these volumes through the ports are primarily logistical in matching origin and destination capacities and timing. Water transport is a major link in the market chain. Its further expansion is limited by physical capacity and the introduction of competitive rail rates. Logistical problems can be resolved by vertical integration by exporters into assembly and transportation, or by changing policies and regulations that presently reduce competition and efficiency. The actions most likely to reduce logistical problems and improve market performance include equalizing subsidies among modes, transferring the ownership of transportation right-of-ways to public bodies, and reducing regulations that restrict the responsiveness of a free market to changes in demand and supply.

Subject Headings: Business management | Crops | Pricing | Ports and harbors | Gulfs | Water supply systems | Rail transportation | Land use

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