TRANSPORTATION Equipment availability is up; demand, unfortunately, is down

Sep 01, 2007 | 10:41 AM |

Logistics equipment shortages have contributed to the challenge of moving metals, although relief on this front is more evident.

The panic state that left some mills' shippers and service centers wondering how they'd deliver metals to customers a year or two ago no longer has a grip on the rail and truck markets, with equipment now more readily available, shipping executives say.

"The availability seems to be loosening up significantly from, say, a year ago," said Roy Berlin, president of Berlin Metals LLC, Hammond, Ind., a specialist in the processing and distribution of tin mill products and stainless steel strip.

Berlin recalled that supplies of transportation equipment had been very tight a year ago, when demand for trucks was stronger. "We're seeing a lot more availability of trucks for our standard routing," he said. "There's no question there is less demand. A year ago we would schedule trucks and some wouldn't show up. That's not happening today."....

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