- Iron Ore Fines
- Liquid Fertilizer
- Natural Rubber
- Wood Pellets
Millard Maritime has service capabilities to load and unload a wide range of commodities and finished goods. Additional lines are constantly being considered and shippers are encouraged to propose new freight.
Aggregates include sand, gravel, pebbles, crushed limestone, and stone and are imported in bulk. They are destined for construction sites across the country for use in structural foundations. Demand is largely associated with construction activity levels. Import volumes grew by 83 percent between 2007 and 2011.
Agropellets consist of pelleted feeds, including alfalfa, corn feed, and citrus pulp pellets. They are a nutritional feed for livestock and can also be burned as a renewable biofuel. Typically, agropellets are a bulk commodity and require proper storage to maintain moisture content. The outlook for growth in the market is strong. European countries could potentially import agropellets in conjunction with wood pellets in accordance with the Kyoto Protocol; however, the European market is typically local, and demand fluctuates annually. Existing markets are in the United Kingdom, Poland, the Czech Republic, Ukraine and Denmark. Emerging markets are Belgium, France, Germany, Hungary and the Netherlands.
The chemical industry is growing in the southeastern United States. Millard’s Theodore, Alabama port is near the “Chemical Corridor” – the land area along the Mississippi River between New Orleans and Baton Rouge. The area is home to numerous chemical and petrochemical manufacturing plants that provide strong economic support for Louisiana. CSX railroad’s coastal routes and Interstate 10 are heavily used for chemical transport.
Iron Ore Fines
Iron ore fines, shipped in bulk, are a major input for steel production. Pricing and production are largely dominated by and depend on China, Australia, Brazil, and India. Until 2010, pricing of iron ore was based on a benchmark system where only a handful of suppliers and buyers set the price for the whole market. It is now quarterly indexed.
Linerboard is a component in packaging material, and is typically used as a lining for corrugated cardboard. It is shipped break-bulk in large rolls. Linerboard is a growing market with most exports heading to Central and South America, particularly Ecuador and Chile. These destinations provide backhaul opportunities for break-bulk refrigerated goods. The market expects solid growth, but because it is a packaging material its demand largely depends on export volumes from Central and South America.
Liquid fertilizers are industrially produced inorganic substances and introduced into the soil in a liquid state. Liquid fertilizers include nitrogenous fertilizers, anhydrous liquid ammonia, aqueous ammonia, ammoniates, concentrated solutions of ammonium nitrate and urea, and complex fertilizers containing two or three basic plant food elements (nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium) in various proportions.
Natural rubber is a plant by-product from jungle regions. Transport and storage of natural rubber must be cool and dark, as heat and sunlight accelerate its degradation. The rubber market is driven by the automobile market, as rubber is a main ingredient in tires. Domestic production of synthetic rubber affects the demand for natural rubber, but because synthetic rubber is dependent on the oil industry, its pricing is more volatile than natural rubber.
The textile import market is predominantly containerized to protect fabrics from the elements. Most imports come from El Salvador and Honduras and major shippers include AALFS UNO Nicaragua, Jerzees, and Ation Honduras. The textile industry is largely tied to the economic cycles in the United States and the demand for textile and apparel goods. With the Central America Free Trade Agreement (CAFTA) and North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), tariffs on apparel products have been largely eliminated with Honduras, El Salvador, Guatemala, Nicaragua, and Mexico.
Wood pellets are a renewable resource that has seen high demand in Europe since the Kyoto Protocol took effect. The largest exports typically are destined for Belgium, the United Kingdom, and the Netherlands. With its Gulf Coast port, Millard Maritime is geographically well-positioned to take advantage of this export opportunity.