Safe, reliable and responsible shipment of agricultural goods is key to our business. We invest in our own river, ocean, rail and road transportation, which we use both for our own business and for third-party customers.
Committed to Sustainable Shipping
As responsible freight operators, we fully support the International Maritime Organization’s environmental protection regulations, particularly with regards to ballast water treatment as well emissions reductions, such as SOx and other greenhouse gases.
We continue to seek sustainable and innovative design solutions to the necessary gradual decarbonization of maritime freight, working in partnership with international industry bodies, shipyards and ship owners, as members of the Sustainable Shipping Initiative (SSI).
Our goal is to participate actively in the reduction of the maritime carbon footprint.
In 2019 we continued to study the feasibility of carbon-reducing technologies and efficiency designs, such as wind propulsion or LNG dual fuel. We also took part in an SSI working group studying avenues for the use of biofuels in shipping.
We have steadily reduced our CO2 emissions over the last two years, through optimized routing and investment in more efficient tonnage.
Historically, the world’s great rivers have always acted as major transportation routes. This is still the case today, and across the globe LDC uses inland waterways to convey a wide variety of agricultural goods.
In northern Brazil, we continue to invest in increased fleet capacity, with barges operating on the Tapajós River via a third-party transshipment terminal, pending completion of our own.
In Paraguay, we have founded Lógico Paraguay to carry Paraguayan goods throughout the ‘Hidrovía’ and connect them to the world. We operate a fleet of four convoys (four tugboats and 77 Mississippi barges and four Jumbo Tanks for liquids built in Paraguay) with a total static capacity of 132,000 metric tons. This gives us the ability to transport 1.3 million metric tons per year.
Over the decades, LDC has expanded its presence in the US along the Mississippi, with several facilities located between Missouri and Louisiana. We transport corn, wheat, soybeans and milo along the river.
To get grain from producer to consumer, LDC loads barges at its river facilities, then takes them down to Port Allen, Louisiana, our export facility. There, the barge loads are elevated onto ships for export to destinations all around the world. The Mississippi facilities also make LDC more responsive to the global demand for grains and oilseeds, which mainly comes from Asia.
Inaugurated in 2017, the Azov facility on the Don river is LDC’s first fully owned grains terminal in Russia. Thanks to its location, infrastructure and storage capacity, the terminal provides LDC with added export options, such as the transshipment of grains on sea-river vessels. The terminal is able to serve smaller vessels transporting goods to Mediterranean destinations, effectively shortening the distance between origination and destination markets.
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Our biggest investment in transportation is in our ocean freight. Our fleet of around 200 vessels serves global destinations, both for our own business and for third-party customers.
Traditionally focused on agricultural trades, today almost half of our chartering activities support diverse third-party customers, including major global miners, steel mills, utilities and other industrial sectors.
Our worldwide operations are extensive. On any given day we could be transporting Soybean from Brazil to China, corn from US to Japan, bauxite from Guinea to Spain; shipping iron ore from Australia to China, rice from Asia to West Africa, and orange juice from Brazil to Belgium.
We continually review and improve our shipping stock. We have started to integrate Tier III (NOx emission control) vessels into our fleet, and are upgrading it further with two ocean vessels dedicated to juice, each capable of carrying approximately 25 kmt. Both boats have temperature controlled, dedicated tanks able to keep this large volume of juice in good condition.
Our fleet consists of a variety of ship types and sizes:
Panamax – generic term for bulk carriers commonly ranging from 74,000 to 82,000 dwt, carrying mainly grains, soybeans and coal
Tankers – chartered for our vegetable oil, palm oil and ethanol voyages
Capesize – largest bulk sizing from 174,000 dwt to 208,000 dwt mainly transporting minerals (iron ore, coal, bauxite) to China and Europe deep sea ports
Supramax and Handysizes – geared bulk carriers ranging typically from 28,000 dwt to 64,000 dwt, with shallower draft, equipped with cranes servicing wide array of ports and carrying many types of bulk and bagged cargos
Container ships – performing our cotton and coffee shipments
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Road haulage has always played a crucial part in the transportation of agricultural goods from remote rural destinations to plants, ports and population centers.
In Brazil, we run a joint venture – Carguero – which provides domestic road haulage services for grains and oilseeds.
In Argentina and Uruguay, we offer logistic services to farmers, coordinating the road transportation of their production of grains, oilseeds and cotton from farms to warehouses, ports and plants.
In Argentina, Uruguay and Paraguay we also offer this service to third parties who export through LDC, coordinating the transportation of goods from their warehouses to the ports.
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Rail is efficient, cost-effective and intrinsically more sustainable than many other forms of mass transport. Across the world, we use railcars that run on local rail networks to transport a wide variety of goods.
In Ukraine, LDC is committed to long-term investment, with a focus on reinforcing our inland origination capacity. Between 2018 and 2019, LDC acquired 660 grain railcars, and secured funding for a further 340, to be constructed locally.
The new fleet will allow us to originate an additional 1.2 million tons of grains annually, thanks to Ukraine’s expansive railway network, through which almost 70% of grains are delivered to ports for export.
In Argentina, we use railcars to transport grains the products from the country’s interior warehouses to our port complex in Bahía Blanca.
We also move US grains and oilseeds through our rail and barge shipping stations, which are strategically located along Class 1 rail carriers and the Mississippi River.