Shipping Containers for Agricultural Exporters?

Some areas have more shipments going out than they have coming in. This is especially true for the middle-America and the agricultural areas of the United States. One of the toughest problems that shipping companies face is getting shipping containers back into these areas once they have shipped out their cargo. Unfortunately there are not nearly as many imports going into these areas as there are shipments being exported. So where do we get the containers? How do we make it a smooth transition to export agricultural products? This is a daily issue for many companies since they need to find containers and reposition them to allow for exports. Meantime, this all costs money. So who should pay the freight costs to move the containers around? Many think it is the responsibility of the steamship lines or rail lines to figure out how to get the goods out for their customers. The problem is that the costs eventually increase for shipping these out since there are empty containers being shipped in at no charge. This is where repositioning fees also come in. Export companies can pay to move the containers themselves, but then they are pricing themselves out of the market on their products. This is has become more of a problem in recent years since imports are down and exports are struggling to keep going. Some people believe that infrastructure changes would allow for smaller ports to handle empties thereby lowering costs to move the containers. It seems no matter what changes are being made, this is going to continue to be a problem for both steamship lines and customers for years to come.