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Title:Regional Elevator Transportation: Market Decisions and Rail Service
Authors:Kimberly Vachal
Publication Date:Nov 2012
Report #:DP-259
TRID #:01456852
Keywords:agricultural products, exports, freight trains, freight transportation, grain elevators, investments, market assessment, regional analysis, regional transportation, surveys
Type:Research Report – Department Publications



Agriculture is a leading source of demand for transport resources. It accounted for nearly 1 in 5 ton-miles of highway freight and 1 in 10 ton-miles of rail and barge freight transported in the nation during 2010, and demand is expected to grow. Thus, understanding industry practices and trends related to transportation is essential in business, resource, and policy decisions. The goal here is to gain insight into transportation in the north-central plains region, defined here to include North Dakota, Minnesota, South Dakota, Nebraska, and Kansas. Responses from 208 elevators surveyed in the region were studied to understand industry composition, decision processes, marketing trends, and transport practices. Results show a strong need for sound local road infrastructure, which is essential in grain procurement and in serving growing local processor demand. Large elevators dominate the industry in terms of volume handled but smaller facilities remain active, especially in serving local demand. For this region, reliable and competitive rail service and sound rail service and investment decisions by elevators are important in long-term industry strength, especially in the light of current opportunities for export market growth.

How to Cite

Vachal, Kimberly. Regional Elevator Transportation: Market Decisions and Rail Service, DP-259. North Dakota State University, Fargo: Upper Great Plains Transportation Institute, 2012.

NDSU Dept 2880P.O. Box 6050Fargo, ND 58108-6050