According to today's USDA Grain Transportation Report, Norfolk Southern is now offering weekly intermodal export service for containerized grain from Columbus, OH, to the Port of New York and New Jersey’s (Port of NY/NJ) GCT Bayonne marine terminal.

Containers will originate at Discovery Park, a terminal in Columbus owned by third-party logistics provider World Distribution Services. Ahead of the fall harvest, the added route could help some shippers avoid the delays and higher costs (due to low water levels) of shipping on the Mississippi River.

The new route also could provide an alternative to congested Southern California ports. According to PIERS data (as cited by the Journal of Commerce), at the end of September, the Port of NY/NJ’s year-to-date (YTD) grain volumes fell 9 percent from YTD end-of-September 2021—to 23,336 TEU.

In contrast, the Port of Los Angeles has been the busiest U.S. hub for exporting containerized soybean and corn, up 20 percent from the same YTD 2021 period—to 77,342 TEU. Likewise, the Port of Long Beach was the third-busiest port for exporting containerized soybean and corn, up 10 percent from the same 2021 period—at 58,123 TEU.

Read the full report here.