Western steel buyers see shortage of flat cars

Jan 22, 2014 | 05:20 PM | Frank Haflich

Tags  rail car, steel, steel buyers, steel mills, steel shipments, Frank Haflich

LOS ANGELES — A growing number of steel buyers in the western United States are concerned by what they claim is a shortage of flat rail cars and efforts by mills to use gondolas instead.

While the problem isn’t seen as universal, and some steel buyers are more bothered than others, more service centers in particular are citing this trend.

"They want to send gondolas," a California plate distributor source said about his mill suppliers, maintaining this is less efficient than using flat cars. "We can do it if push comes to shove, but it’s a problem."....

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