Shipping Agricultural Products

A comprehensive guide to exporting agricultural products from Canada.

If you’re looking to ship agriculture out of Canada, Canaan Group is here to help you. With our extensive experience and global network of offices, we will walk you through the entire process, making sure you have all that you need to ensure a smooth shipping process. Canaan Group does not handle the import of agriculture, with the exception of product rejections that return into Canada because of defects or pest issues.

Ship docking at a port

Exporting Agricultural Products from Canada

Most of the agriculture shipped out of Canada is from the prairie provinces of Alberta, Saskatchewan, and Manitoba. Crops include peas, lentil, beans, buckwheat, canola, and chickpeas and are all shipped by bulk. There are two ways to ship agriculture: by container and by bulk vessel. Canaan Group coordinates shipments from door to port, so the buyer arranges for unloading and trucking of the product from the destination port.

Shipping by Container

When products are shipped by container, the container is brought to a facility where it is loaded by a grain blowing hose, or the product is dropped into an upright container via a spout or conveyor belt. Containers must be completely filled with the product and can be filled with or without liner bags, depending on the needs of the specific product.

If access to a loading facility is unavailable, products are sent by railcars to a transloading facility (e.g. in Vancouver) to be loaded into containers there. Railcars can be filled from the top and thus are easier to load. Canaan Group has a partner who can assist in transloading from railcar to containers.

Once loaded, Canaan Group with work with the CFIA for the food inspection and if the destination country requires sampling, we can coordinate that as well. At the destination, containers are unloaded through a suction pipe that moves the product out of the container.

Loading bags of agricultural products into a container

Shipping by Bulk Vessel

A Bulk Vessel has a number of holds that can store 6,000 metric tons of product, which is the equivalent to 250 containers worth of product. Shipping by Bulk Vessel is more cost efficient but requires a minimum volume (e.g. 6,000 metric tons). Canaan Group can help to charter a hold and arrange for transport by rail to the terminal. Once at the terminal, the product is transloaded directly onto the Bulk Vessels. In the Vancouver Lower Mainland, there are 20+ terminals where Bulk Vessels can load and unload.

Once loaded, Canaan group will work with the CFSA for the food inspection and if the destination country requires sampling, we can coordinate that as well.

Grain getting loaded onto a Bulk Vessel

The Challenges of Agriculture Shipping

Agriculture products are very commoditized so margins are low. To save on costs, it is necessary to ship large volumes out at a given time (e.g. 80 containers). The challenge with this is that sometimes it is difficult to find that many available containers.

Canaan Group specializes in sourcing equipment with volume since we have contracts and relationships with ocean carriers that have been built for 40 years, giving us the advantage. We are keenly aware that agricultural products are susceptible to mold, bacteria, or pests so transport must be completed in a timely manner, especially since the containers or holds are not temperature-controlled. We provide insurance coverage and are resourceful if a claim happens.

Shipback Insurance for Agriculture Shipping

Canaan Group is also pleased to be one of the few companies that offers ship back insurance for agricultural shipping. This means that if you ship something overseas and your product is declined because of a regulatory restriction, pest, bacteria, or failure to meet testing requirements, your product will be shipped back free of charge. Without ship back insurance, the sender is responsible to pay for the cargo return.

Large quantity of containers at the port

Book a Consultation

If you are looking to transport agricultural products, book a consultation with us. We can discuss your needs, answer your questions, explain how it works, and explore your options to help you create a customized shipping plan. We can also give you a quote on your project so you know how best to move ahead. We look forward to serving you!

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