ADM eyes barges

Archer Daniels Midland is getting ready to expand its fleet of inland barges under a broader effort to increase crop shipments from its port in northern Brazil.
Brazilian soybean production is rising rapidly.

Brazilian soybean production is rising rapidly.

Matthew Jansen, president of the US commodities giant’s oilseeds division, says the new additions to its South American transportation network will be used to ferry soybeans and corn to Belem in Para state.

In an interview with Bloomberg he pointed out the investment will aid ADM in its campaign to significantly increase volumes at the port while reducing costs and expanding its presence outside of the US.

Jansen, who noted his company is looking to raise annual volumes at Belem to about six million metric tonnes over the next five years, said plans are in place to double the size of the South American barge fleet.

Of the 2,400 units in ADM’s stable the executive indicated that approximately 260 are dedicated to the region, which suggests the company is looking to build, acquire or charter approximately 500 in total.

ADM is based in Decatur, Illinois but recently announced plans to move its global headquarters to Chicago. In addition to an extensive network of tugs, barges, trucks and railcars the company owns nearly a dozen bulkers.

Like many cash-rich commodities players the group has used the downturn in the shipping industry as an opportunity to take greater control of the supply chain buy acquiring and operating its own assets in addition to chartered tonnage.

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