Transportation Logistics and Supply Chain Characteristics of Washington Hay and Livestock Movements

The local and regional hay and livestock industries have experienced considerable growth over the past few years generating multiple economic benefits and multiplier effects throughout Washington’s economy. The total value of production for livestock products ($1.35 billion) and hay ($414 million) collectively totals over $1.76 billion. Growth in these agricultural and natural resource industries and continued success depends upon access to markets and an efficient multimodal transportation system to bridge production supply sources with destination demand markets. The value of hay and livestock products to regional producers and the state’s economy is substantially diminished without an efficient transportation system. This paper investigates those transportation characteristics and requirements necessary for efficient movement of hay and livestock products to domestic and international markets. This is accomplished through the evaluation and analysis of data collected and compiled from a variety of sources, including industry level surveys to hay and livestock producers, processors and brokers. Detailed analysis regarding statewide geographic concentration and intensity of hay and livestock production is provided. In addition, the unique seasonality of shipments from production supply locations to intermediate processing locations is provided, by product form and transportation mode choice. Specific hay and livestock processing facilities are geographically identified in addition to the degree of product transformation that occurs between production and consumption. Destination demand markets are identified by product type and by season, revealing inherent transportation efficiencies associated with different product forms and the demand opportunities to international markets. This is especially noticeable for dense cubed-hay products utilizing container transport to Asia. Finally, key freight corridors and highways supporting hay and livestock shipments are geographically identified by level of intensity and type of movement. Key findings and implications were summarized, highlighting both challenges and opportunities. State transporation officials and policy makers will be better equipped to prioritize investment decisions with a more thorough understanding of the relationship between improvements in transportation efficiency and impact on the hay and livesock industry in Washington.

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 Record created 2017-04-01, last modified 2020-10-28

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