Trammo's Commodities Division is headquartered in Tampa FL, USA and Zurich, Switzerland and has multiple offices around the world, which focus on maintaining regular, direct contact with key customers and suppliers. The Division manages a large portfolio of products that complement each other. It accounts for more than 75% of the Trammo Group's physical sales volume and over half of its revenue; its worldwide traded volume reached 29.2 million metric tons in calendar year 2015.
Trammo's ammonia activities put the group consistently among the world's leading independent transporters and marketers of anhydrous ammonia. Our experience in this product dates back to the early years of Transammonia, when we arranged our first international waterborne transportation of anhydrous ammonia. Trammo's international traded ammonia volume was close to 3 million metric tons in 2015 with a majority of the sales concluded with long-standing customers. This physical trading business typically utilizes vessels with capacities ranging from 8,000 to 40,000 metric tons operating under time or voyage charter arrangements. To support its transportation requirements, Trammo enters into long-term time charter agreements with international ship owners/operators for the use of their vessels over multiyear periods. Trammo employs between 8 and 10 gas carriers at all times and positions them in its strategic trading areas. Trammo is continuing to develop its domestic ammonia trading in the US and China with investments in logistic assets such as storage, trucks, rails and barges.
The United States, Northwest Europe, China, and Thailand are important distribution markets for the Commodities Division. In recent years, we have strengthened our logistics capabilities by expanding our storage network in these markets, bringing the number of locations where we hold leased warehouse space to approximately 35, for both liquid and solid fertilizers as well as sulfuric acid. Our wholly owned ammonia and UAN storage terminals in Meredosia, Illinois and Niota, Illinois (with a total NH3 capacity of 86,000 short tons and a total UAN capacity of 34,000 short tons) play a significant role in the success of our ammonia business. Trammo also leases space for ammonia in two other locations in the United States with a total capacity of 33,000 short tons, allowing direct access to regional river, rail or truck distribution markets.
To support Trammo’s long-term strategies and provide additional tools for our market approach, we lease a range of transportation equipment, including approximately 650 railcars for the delivery of both dry and liquid fertilizers, sulfur, sulfuric acid and ammonia in the U.S. market. We also contract barges for the delivery of dry and liquid fertilizers via river systems; for our ammonia activities we lease fully refrigerated, inland waterway barge tows. In addition, Trammo owns several hundred tank cars, which transport molten sulfur from U.S. crude oil refineries to the East Coast, where sulfur is used in the production of phosphate fertilizers.
In 2003, Sudamericana de Metales and Transammonia established Trans Sud Limitada in Chile to focus on the import, export, and distribution of sulfuric acid in the region. The joint venture has a long-term lease agreement for the storage of sulfuric acid in the port of Mejillones, which enhances the logistics services that it is able to offer to its business partners. Trans Sud Limitada is an active participant in the mining industry in Peru and Chile.
In recent years, the Commodities Division has expanded into energy products, in particular petroleum coke and coal. Furthermore, technical grade ammonium nitrate was added to the product portfolio. During 2016, Egypt Hydrocarbon Company (EHC) is expected to start up production of technical grade ammonium nitrate (TGAN) at its plant in Ain Sokhna, Egypt. EHC has chosen Trammo as the sole supplier of its ammonia needs as well as the sole marketer of its TGAN, a key raw material in mining and civil construction work.
Trammo Bulk Carriers, a member of the Commodities Division, commenced its operations in 2010. It has established itself as a recognized time charter operator with a fleet of about 20 handysize and suprasize vessels. During 2015, Trammo Bulk Carriers transported 4.3 million metric tons of cargo, mainly fertilizers and grains. It has the ambition to further grow its operations, with continued focus on delivering high quality reliable service to support and benefit its customers worldwide. In a joint-venture with an established ship owner, Trammo owns an equity interest in three newly built vessels, m/v Trammo Stanton, m/v Trammo Baumann and m/v Trammo Independent. All three vessels are new eco-type handysize ships that fulfill the latest and future environmental standards.
Reflecting the growing economic importance of Asia and Africa, the Commodities Division has strengthened its foothold in these markets by establishing offices in Jakarta, Indonesia, in Dakar, Senegal, in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, in Abidjan, Ivory Coast as well as Nanjing and Urumqi, China. The set-up of the Shanghai office is such that Trammo is able to develop its merchandising and trading activities in the Chinese market in local currency.
Finally, in September 2013 the Division expanded into soft commodities trading and merchandising by establishing a rice trading desk. The trading portfolio includes a large variety of different rice types, such as paddy rice, aromatic rice, brown rice, broken rice and many more. Rice sourcing is done in the main growing areas in Asia but also from the United States, South America and Europe. Trading in other soft commodities may follow.
Trammo’s Commodities Division is headed by Brent Hart, who has 42 years of experience in the industry. Brent Hart is based in Tampa FL, USA and Zurich, Switzerland. He also serves on the Board of Directors of Trammo, Inc.