Re: Red Owl warehouse

Mont Switzer

For what it is worth the Michigan Sugar mill in Caro, MI is supposed to be the oldest standing business of this type in the USA.  It is inland and only served by rail and truck.


Mont Switzer


From: <> On Behalf Of William Hirt
Sent: Sunday, February 28, 2021 10:14 AM
Subject: Re: [RealSTMFC] Red Owl warehouse


Great Western Sugar built a sugar terminal facility in Western Springs IL in the late 1950s/early 1960s. This is on the CB&Q triple track mainline in the Chicago suburbs. The sugar shipped from this facility came from Great Western's processing facilities in Colorado and Wyoming. So that would be 1,000 mile one way trip. Now by that time the commodity was being shipped in bulk by Airslide or the early PS-2 3-bay Covered Hoppers (especially to a terminal). These definitely influenced the transportation costs and I wonder if the transportation distance issue changed substantially between 1950 and 1960 for commodities like sugar.

Bill Hirt

On 2/27/2021 8:00 PM, np328 wrote:

Not to throw the Red Owl warehouse topic off or head off in a tangent, however with all due respect to "where the sugar comes from” regarding the Hopkins MN warehouse; 
   Sugar is (1) a bulk commodity, (2) it is publicly traded, and should it be cane or beet (3) it is grown in many areas around the US.

Sugar costs are low, low enough that in that the US sugar industry, price supports exist to maintain US sugar independence.  

And because of all of the above - shipping transport costs quickly assume a great importance to final prices when all other costs tend to be either low or stable across large areas. 
Here we have both.

      I dislike greatly the mixing of data across eras, and am aware of this lists cut-off date of 1960, something I very strongly support. However ask that the map introduced by this link be looked at and ask yourself the question; with all these sugar processing options closer to the Hopkins, MN Red Owl warehouse, just south of the Twin Cities or in the Red River Valley, why would one go into MT?             Billings is closer (550-600 miles) to the population center of Denver, CO and seems a more logical destination.  (Wasn't there a large baking consortium there?)


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