Soybean transportation more predictable in U.S., vs. Brazil or Argentina

Advisory experts from globally-recognized HighQuest Consulting have completed a study that compares the cost, transit time and predictability of transporting soybeans from the U.S., Brazil and Argentina to nine international destinations.

The 65-page study, performed on behalf of the United States Soybean Export Council (USSEC) and the Soy Transportation Coalition (STC), highlights the reasons that have resulted in the U.S. soybean industry achieving the reputation of being the most cost effective and reliable supplier of soybeans and soy products in the international marketplace.

"Our detailed study of soybean transportation networks concluded that despite the fact that the majority of U.S. inland soybean origination is further away from the export terminals than Brazil or Argentina, its system of roads, bridges, highways, railroads, and navigable waterways and ports place it in the position to be the most economical and reliable supplier to international customers, said Bill Devens, managing director and co-head of HighQuest Consulting.

The findings are further supported with research on transit times, noting that soybean shipments from the U.S. will arrive within three days of expected delivery date. That number rises to seven days for shipments from Argentina, and to 15 days when arriving from Brazil. Additionally, the study explains through detailed tables and graphs the differences in transportation costs and predictability for each of the following nine international destinations:

  • Shanghai, China
  • Tokyo, Japan
  • Kaohiung, Taiwan
  • Jakarta, Indonesia
  • Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam
  • Manila, Philippines
  • Hamburg, Germany
  • Rotterdam, the Netherlands
  • Port Said, Egypt

"This study is a key benchmark in our close watch over the transportation industry in the U.S., where in the past couple of years, while still on par with exceptional delivery, transit times have increased, particularly in the Pacific Northwest area, said Mike Steenhoek, executive director of the Soy Transportation Coalition. "We need to remain diligent in the examination of these issues to ensure our nation improves its transportation for the agricultural sector, and this study provides valuable information in that endeavor.

The full study can be viewed here.