eNews • July 1, 2011
Promoting a Cost-Effective, Reliable and Competitive Transportation System

Soy Transportation Coalition Tours Transloading Facilities, Rail Terminals in Chicago

The board of directors of the Soy Transportation Coalition (STC) toured container loading and shipping facilities in the Chicago area on Thursday, June 23, in conjunction with the organization’s summer board meeting.  The purpose of the visit was to develop a more thorough understanding of the containerized movement of soybeans and other agricultural products.

The group first visited the DeLong Company’s transloading facilities in Channahon and Joliet, Illinois.  Transloading is the process of transferring a commodity from one mode of transportation to another.  The Channahon facility focuses on receiving soybeans from area farmers via semi truck and then loading them into shipping containers for the export market.  The Joliet facility provides transloading services for distillers dried grains.  

The group then proceeded to visit Union Pacific Railroad’s intermodal terminal in Joliet.  Situated on 550 acres, the Joliet intermodal terminal is designed to serve as a hub for international and domestic movements.  Containers loaded with soybeans and other agricultural products are delivered via truck to the rail facility where they are in turn loaded onto unit trains destined to the west coast.  Upon arrival on the west coast, the containers will most likely be loaded onto an ocean vessel for export to Asia.  

The final visit on the tour was Canadian National’s transloading facility in Harvey, Illinois.  The 8.5 acre facility is adjacent to the railroad’s Markham Yard – allowing newly loaded containers of agricultural products to have access to Canadian National’s expanding network.

“Containerized shipping of soybeans and other agricultural products is growing in importance,” explains Mike Steenhoek, executive director of the Soy Transportation Coalition.  “Many of our international customers prefer containerized shipping because it ensures greater quality preservation and allows them to receive the product in quantities more commensurate with their storage and production capabilities.  Containers also allow a customer to source the soybeans or other agricultural products from a more precise area or region.  It’s therefore important for farmers to understand this growing trend and consider opportunities to encourage it.” 


The Soy Transportation Coalition is comprised of thirteen state soybean boards, the American Soybean Association, and the United Soybean Board. The National Grain and Feed Association and the National Oilseed Processors Association serve as ex-officio members of the organization.

Soy Transportation Coalition
1255 SW Prairie Trail Pkwy., Ankeny, Iowa 50023
Phone: (515) 727-0665 Fax (515) 251-8657
Email msteenhoek@soytransportation.org
Web www.soytransportation.org

Funded by the Soybean Checkoff