The Wheat Transportation Profile
is the third in a series of grain transportation profiles and continues to examine the importance of the freight transportation system to grain producers and consumers here and abroad. The report presents an overview of the U.S. wheat supply-and-demand factors that have transportation implications. The report points out that U.S. wheat production has remained almost unchanged since the 1990’s, with increased yields and lower number of wheat acres planted and harvested. Despite unchanged production levels, the United States continues to be a major wheat exporter. Between 2009 and 2013, the United States claimed an average 20 percent annually of the world wheat trade. In 2013, 36 percent of wheat was exported through the Pacific Northwest, 27 percent through the Texas Gulf, and 29 percent through the Mississippi Gulf destined mainly for Asia, Mexico, Brazil, and Nigeria. If USDA’s long-term projections for U.S. wheat exports to continue to slowly grow and remain above 1 billion bushels, wheat shippers will continue to rely on effective rail service to deliver the grain from the fields in the Midwest to the distant ports for loading on vessels destined around the world.