When you consider that every field of crops in the world is made up of individual growing plants, each in need of nutrients, the fertilizer industry has a distribution and economic challenge unrivaled in almost any other business.
Crop nutrients are transported in solid or fluid form from their point of origin or place of manufacture. Fertilizer is often transported by ocean-going tanker, river barge, railroad, over-the-road trucks or moved through pipelines as liquid or gas. The distribution logistics of fertilizer are complex because the three most critical materials involved in fertilizer manufacturing (ammonia, phosphoric acid and mined potash) exist as raw resources and are made in a variety of distant places around the world. Those raw materials must be moved to another site, blended with other materials and then moved again to the fields where they are needed.