Sunday, December 05, 2010

Grains Exported to Asia

While touring Elliot Bay next to Seattle recently, the guide explained about the silos and tanker ships in the pictures below.  The silos receive grain from Iowa, Nebraska, and other midwestern states by railroad cars.  The grains are transferred into the silos.  The ships are loaded from the silos when humidity conditions are within a certain range.  If the atmospheric humidity is too high when the grain goes into the tanker, the seeds will swell and expand while inside the ship. This would be a big problem.  If the humidity is too low, there is a risk of fire from the friction of moving grain and the dust. Consequently, it can take as long as a week to load the ship and send it on its way to Asian markets.

Have a good week!

Double click on the picture to see the darker color along the ship.
When fully loaded, the dark red will be underwater. 

This ship is waiting in Elliot Bay for its turn to be loaded.
A  week-long wait is common.

Another view of Seattle from Elliot Bay.

The landmark Space Needle of Seattle is on the right edge
in this photo.

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