Despite technical advancements in transport unloading systems, grain storage facilities, ship loading solutions and terminal operating systems, grain export terminals still suffer annual capacity losses of up to 30% due to rain. Technical Director, Ryan Hare, uses Brazil as a case study to explore the application of a new marine terminal concept that eliminates rain downtime during ship loading activities.
A Positive Outlook for Grain Trade by Sea
Grain has been transported across borders and shipped across oceans for more than 3,000 years. Evolving from incidental shipments on the Phoenician’s keel-hulled vessels to tens of thousands of tonnes shipped in specialised bulk carriers, the maritime grain trade has grown into the millions of tonnes and billion-dollar business we witness today.
Throughout history, grain trade has spiked following advancement of communication, improvement in technology and development of infrastructure. Industrialisation in the 19th century was followed by exponential growth in grain trade, which is expected to reach record highs in 2021.
As the global demand for grains climbed, the geographic distribution of trade flows changed. Population growth and changing demographics, economic growth, weather conditions, protectionist policies, domestic subsidies and changing consumption patterns have all influenced the flow of grains around the world.