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The application of container transportation in grain logistics (I)

Abstract: in the environment of large and stable grain output in China, grain production tends to be high-quality and diversified, and the state liberalizes the purchase of grain, the traditional grain logistics system based on grain packaging and bulk grain circulation can no longer meet the needs of the market. Based on the transportation cost, this paper analyzes the feasibility and development prospect of container transportation in grain logistics, compares the advantages and disadvantages of three modes of grain transportation, and develops a rational grain logistics that combines grain packaging circulation, bulk grain circulation and container transportation

currently, China's comprehensive grain production capacity has been improved. Jany said, "these are very differentiated businesses, which have been generally stable at the level of 450million to 500million tons (see Table 1 for the total grain output from 1998 to 2001) Commercial grain accounts for about 25% ~ 30%; There are more than 60000 grain depots nationwide, storing more than 250million tons of grain; There are nearly 21000 grain processing enterprises with an annual production capacity of 188million tons. Due to the continuous structural adjustment of agricultural production in recent years, China's grain, cotton and oil production has gradually shown a trend of concentration to the advantageous production areas, and the variety and quality of grain have also shown a diversified development trend; Grain circulation generally shows the characteristics of large quantity, many points, wide range and strong biochemical characteristics. However, China's grain circulation work still stays in the low-level development stage of thin plastic pipe section, with low circulation efficiency and high circulation cost, which is difficult to adapt to this development trend. Therefore, the establishment of a modern grain logistics system has become an inevitable requirement for China's grain development

grain logistics refers to the physical movement of grain in the whole process of production, purchase, storage, transportation, processing and sales services, as well as all value-added activities in the circulation link. It includes grain transportation, storage, loading and unloading, packaging, distribution, processing and information application. It is a complete link chain. Grain logistics accounts for a large proportion in the logistics of the whole society. Only the grain transportation and cargo turnover volume rank among the top in all kinds of material transportation volume in the country. Grain transportation is a key link in grain logistics, which is related to the efficiency and economic benefits of grain logistics system. Grain container transportation is a new development trend in this field

1. The development of grain container transportation in developed countries

in terms of theoretical research and practical application of grain container transportation, Canada is in the forefront of the world. Barry Prentice, Dean of the school of transportation, University of Manitoba, Canada, first put forward the theory of grain container transportation by using the theory of modern logistics. Through the comparative analysis of the economic and technical indicators of container grain transportation and general grain transportation, he studied the advantages and application scope of container grain transportation, and proposed to establish a grain transportation system in which package, bulk and container coexist and complement each other. Dr. Champ from Australia also pointed out that with the gradual corporatization of state-owned grain distribution systems in various countries and the gradual updating of modern transportation system equipment, the demand for small batch transportation is increasing, and the demand for special equipment to prevent mixing is also increasing. Container transportation is a good way to solve this problem, and the grain logistics system will realize various forms of automation and container unitization

Canada began to study the container transportation of grain in 1975. In recent years, its domestic container transportation of grain has developed rapidly. 5% of the grain in the country has been exported through containers, mainly beans, rapeseed and beer barley. According to the forecast, due to the continuous improvement of storage and transportation conditions, the advantages of grain container transportation will be more obvious. By 2025, the proportion of Canadian grain container transportation in the total grain transportation volume will be twice that of now. In other economically developed countries such as the United States, Australia and other major grain producing countries, in addition to the distribution of grain in bulk, bulk transportation, bulk storage and bulk unloading, container transportation of grain has also emerged, and the logistics volume of grain transported in containers is increasing rapidly. For example, in 1999, the volume of grain transported in containers in Australia reached 40000-50000 tons/month

2. The current situation of grain transportation in China

the current grain circulation in China mainly includes two types: grain packaging circulation and bulk grain circulation. At present, grain packaging circulation is still the main mode. Sacks are used to transport the grain produced by farmers to the grass-roots grain depot. After inspection, weighing and unpacking, they are stacked in the warehouse. When they need to be transported outside, they are manually or mechanically filled, weighed and loaded to the railway station or wharf. After arriving at the destination, they are manually loaded, unloaded, handled and warehoused. There are many intermediate links in the circulation of grain, and the work efficiency is low, which requires a lot of packaging materials and manpower. Taking Jilin Province as an example, 60million to 80million sacks are needed to transport corn only every year, occupying about 200million yuan. Although the gross profit margin of loading and unloading 6 fluorolithium phosphate and downstream electrolyte at stations and wharves can also be adjusted by the handling machinery, which can reduce the labor intensity of workers to a certain extent, it can not fundamentally solve the defects such as low efficiency and large food scattering waste caused by multi link handling in the grain distribution system. At present, most countries in the world no longer use this backward grain circulation mode, but mainly use the bulk circulation mode

the circulation of bulk grain in China was tried twice in the 1960s and 1970s, but it could not be continuously promoted and developed due to the limitations of political and economic conditions at that time. In the early 1990s, in order to join the WTO and integrate with the world's advanced grain circulation technology and system, China began to change the mode of grain circulation, that is, from the traditional grain packaging circulation to the bulk grain circulation, and launched the backbone system construction project of "using the world bank loan to improve China's grain circulation". Now these projects have fully entered the trial operation stage, and it is expected that the scattered level can reach about 40%. The grain produced by farmers is transported to the grass-roots grain depot and stored in bulk through various conveying equipment. There are various testing equipment in the warehouse to ensure the safety of stored grain. During outward transportation, grain shall be transported out of the warehouse, measured and loaded by gravity or conveying machinery. The main advantages of bulk grain circulation are high degree of mechanization, high operation efficiency, saving packaging costs and packaging freight, and good economies of scale

however, there are also various shortcomings in the circulation of bulk grain: repeated loading and unloading causes grain damage and quality degradation. There is a saying in the grain system: "if the identification problem of grain per material testing machine is loaded and unloaded once, the quality grade will be reduced by one grade", especially for bulk grain loading and unloading; Intangible losses caused by no-load return of vehicles and vessels, port pressure and idle equipment in off-season operation; Port tributary charges to enable mobilization of sufficient inventory; A large amount of capital occupied by bulk inventories and the interest paid for it; In order to prevent dust explosion, the cost of implementing control measures has occupied a large amount of working capital. The most important point is that the initial investment in the circulation of bulk grain is huge, and the repair and maintenance cost after completion is also a large expenditure. In particular, China has just implemented the circulation of bulk grain in the circulation of grain. The technical level and operation level of "four bulk" are low. The distribution of storage sites is unscientific, the storage capacity is insufficient, the storage technology is backward, and the degree of mechanization is not high. In particular, the number of special vehicles for bulk grain is less than 3000 nationwide. Therefore, the advantages of bulk grain circulation can not be brought into full play

3. Advantages of grain container transportation

grain container transportation refers to that containers are an integral part of grain packaging and means of transportation. In rural or grass-roots grain depots, the grain produced by farmers shall be directly loaded into containers and sealed. The containers can be general-purpose containers or special grain containers. If they are general-purpose containers, they shall be properly handled to ensure sealing, and then the containers shall be transported to railway stations or container terminals and transported to users all over the country or foreign buyers. Containers transporting grain can also participate in the container transportation system and enter the large logistics system of the whole society. Therefore, there is no need to build a professional grain container transportation system, which saves a lot of construction costs

compared with the circulation of packaged grain and bulk grain, grain container transportation has the following advantages:

1. Mechanized operation reduces the labor intensity of workers; Save manpower and greatly improve the installation efficiency

2. Simplified procedures and reduced the tally and handover procedures in the transportation link; Use container multimodal transport to shorten the transit time and ensure market supply

3. Adapt to the requirements of multi variety, small batch and multi quality grade transportation of grain. Different transportation means such as highway, railway and waterway can be used to meet different time requirements

4. There is no need to build special grain circulation facilities, make full use of the existing general container handling equipment, and greatly reduce the capital construction investment

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