Even if producers had access to direct-sales channels, there remains another obstacle in their way -- lack of integrated logistics services to prepare and ship specialty-grains to final destinations in container-loads with product integrity intact.
This is the second prong of our core-mission, a domain we are imminently qualified to tackle as one of the leading logistics-companies in Western Canada, with established connections in Asia Pacific to arrange for final deliveries.
ADVENT OF CONTAINERIZATION
Not too long ago containerization was viewed as a luxury affordable for only very high-value crops, but the container-scene has changed dramatically with advances in intermodal-systems -- now containers dominate not only manufactured but also agricultural products.
High-value specialty-crops are typically sold in small volumes, delivered in container-loads to specific processing destinations, often requiring scheduled-deliveries, cleaned-and-tested, bagged-and-sealed for identity-preservation. Existing grain-transportation-systems geared to bulk-trades are not at all suitable for specialty-crops, requiring alternative channels.
Some crops would be ready to be containerized at farm-gates, already harvested and stored in farm-bins, ready to ship, but most others will require further testing, grading, cleaning, and even primary-processing. All these services exist across the region but farmers do not have the capacity to manage them -- our job is to shoulder the coordination of these service functions.
Our role does not end there; we position empty containers at farm-gates or service-points by working with shipping-lines to align our container-needs with their flow-patterns. Moreover, we secure the release of these containers to overseas delivery-points, and through our partners make re-positioning arrangements to where the shipping-lines need them next.
Even with the limited scale and scope of specialty-crop trades, a variety of grain-handling services already exist, but they need to be expanded, modernized and integrated to achieve higher crop-quality standards.
Initially, we will start with the service-coordination functions, but as our crop-mix and service-range gain more clarity, we will consolidate service-functions under our own management or even ownership.
Inland container supply problems have long been ignored, or left in the hands of shipping-lines or railways -- as a result, instead of being pulled inland, they return empty from the coast to be repositioned.
Based on our experience in container-trades in all corners of the world, we know that this falls on lead-service-providers (LSP), which in this case is us -- we have the solutions for pulling containers inland.