The Pacific Northwest (PNW) port system, second only to the Mississippi as an export corridor for US feed grains, is improving capacity to supply rapidly growing markets in China and elsewhere in east and south Asia.
At the US Grains Council’s 52nd Annual Board of Delegates Meeting in Vancouver, Wash., attendees will hear firsthand from a panel of industry experts about these exciting new developments, and the prospects for further export growth in the PNW.
The PNW export terminals receive grain by rail from a huge heartland region ranging across the upper Midwest and the northern and central plains. Greg Guthrie, marketing director for the BNSF Railway Agricultural Products Group, will discuss producer outreach and logistical improvements in this vital exporting region. Joining Guthrie will be Augusto Bassanini, vice president of grain marketing with United Grain Cooperation, and Kristin Meria, executive director of the Pacific Northwest Waterways Association. With broad experience in most every facet of export operations through the PNW, the panel will lead a discussion of emerging opportunities and operational imperatives in this vital logistical corridor.
The panel will also serve as a great introduction for attendees who will get a firsthand view of the PNW trade during a trip to the Port of Vancouver, Export Grain Terminal (EGT), and the United Grain Corporation (UGC) Export Terminal. Established in 1912, the Port of Vancouver annually handles more than 500 ocean going vessels as well as river barges with a total cargo volume exceeding five million metric tons.
UGC’s Export Terminal in the Port of Vancouver is the largest elevator on the US West Coast, while the EGT is the first new export grain terminal built in the United States in more than 25 years. These facilities help to redefine the speed, flexibility, and efficiency of PNW grain exports of wheat, corn, soybeans, soybean meal, and DDGS through both barge and rail. Built to accommodate continuing export growth, the EGT terminal alone can ship 8 million tonnes annually from farms as far east as Minnesota.
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