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USDA Research Examines Port Choice for Grain Exports

Researchers found 1% increase in a port’s shipping costs corresponded to a 6% to 8% reduction in port’s traffic

USDA’s Agricultural Marketing Service recently published a synopsis of research conducted in cooperation with the University of Oregon.

The research report, A Study of Grain and Soybean Export Flows: Uncovering Their Determinants and the Implications for Infrastructure Investment, examines how transportation costs and port attributes (e.g., channel depth) affected port choice from two perspectives — an importing country and an inland U.S. shipper.

They found a 1% increase in a port’s shipping costs corresponded to a 6% to 8% reduction in the port’s traffic.

In addition, they found a 1% increase in channel depth resulted in a port gaining 1% to 3% more business, and a 1% increase in berthing length resulted in about 1% more traffic.

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