As of March 9, YTD grain vessel loading activity in the Pacific Northwest has doubled compared to 2016, and U. Gulf vessel loading was 23% above last year’s level.Even with the strengthening of the dollar and barring any unforeseen circumstances, 2017 may be a very strong year for transportation demand for export grain.This helped them end the year on a strong note, and provided a good dose of confidence in the transportation market going into 2017. 24, total grain barge tonnages in 2016 hit a whopping 42.4 million tons — 20% higher than 2015.In fact with one week remaining, the year-to-date cumulative total grain tonnage moved during 2016 is already the highest since 2003, when annual tons were 42.5 million tons, according to the USDA Agricultural Marketing Service’s .On the ocean side, the report said that freight rates for shipping bulk commodities, including grain, went up during the year due to strong iron ore and grain demand, but as of mid-December, rates remained below the historical highs of 2008 because the bulk shipping market is overrun with excess vessel capacity. Prior to coming to Work Boat, she covered coastal, oceans and maritime industry news for 15 years for newspapers in coastal areas of Massachusetts and Michigan for Ottaway News Service, a division of the Dow Jones Company.The report added that all modes of shipping benefited from low diesel fuel prices during the year. She began her newspaper career at the New Bedford (Mass.) Standard-Times.The Lower Mississippi River is also experiencing high water conditions causing daylight only transit in certain areas.
However, even with the less-than-ideal navigation conditions, current spot barge freight rates for export grain at principle origins remain 1 to 17 percent below the 3-year average for the end of May.Grain shipments went gangbusters in 2016, sending barges, trucks and railroads into overdrive.Buoyed by strong export demand and relatively low freight rates, barge operators were plenty busy hauling record crops of corn and soybeans as well as large amounts of wheat.Below you will find the title of the table or figure.The line below the title gives a brief description for each of the files, followed by the source.