Grain queues

Author: Konrad Potocki
Grain queues

The queue of trucks waiting to unload grain and oilseeds is growing at Polish ports. Poland is now a major grain transshipment hub, from where these products continue to European markets: Germany, Belgium, the Netherlands, the UK, and Scandinavian countries.

The waiting time for unloading can be as long as 10-20 hours. Managers of transshipment terminals at the port of Gdansk have prepared special tents to accommodate more grain.

As Monika Piątkowska, president of the Grain and Feed Chamber, explains, urgent investments of a structural character are necessary – both in ports, but also in warehouses and transport. Today, we estimate the real capacity of Polish ports at about 750,000 tons per month, which significantly limits the ability to empty silos. Last year, only the port of Gdansk handled 1.9 million, and tons of grain, and now – due to the emptying of warehouses with Ukrainian grain – there will be even more grain, Piatkowska adds.

Supply chain experts point out that too few grain and agricultural products are transported by rail in Europe. Meanwhile, intermodal transport could significantly ease the burden on trucking. In the European Union, only Germany is trying to transport some bulk products – including grain – by rail in significant amounts.

Deutsche Bahn has created, with the help of its subsidiaries in Poland and Romania, a rail “grain bridge” that facilitates the transport of Ukrainian grain to the German ports of Rostock, Hamburg, and Brake near Bremerhaven.