Aluminum market faces rising truck costs

Dec 14, 2012 | 09:10 AM | Suzy Waite

Tags  aluminum, trucking costs, Department of Energy, freight

LONDON — Trucking costs appear poised to rise yet again next year for U.S. aluminum market participants.

In addition to a driver shortage and a potential rise in fuel costs, sources are closely watching the low water levels of the Mississippi River, arguing that this could eventually affect truck availability and costs.

Low water levels in the northern part of the Mississippi have already led to delays of steel raw material shipments (, Nov. 28) and ferroalloys (, Dec. 7). Although the majority of aluminum is shipped via truck or rail, sources say that should the barge delays persist, it will ultimately have a trickle-down effect on the aluminum market.
“I have been watching the low river levels. ... It’s impacting large traffic (for other industries). Not a lot of aluminum or alumina is sent (via the river). And if coal or steel scrap can’t go by barge anymore, they can only go via truck or rail,” a trader said. “That will take trucks away from aluminum, which could definitely impact the price and availability of trucks (next year). ....

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