CHICAGO MoveTran LLC, founded by former RG Steel LLC employees, is launching a transloading and logistical services operation in a high-end steel warehouse.
The company will handle steel coil, pipe and tube, aluminum and other products, president Damon Gunter told AMM Monday.
MoveTran has signed a three-year lease with Heidtman Steel Products Inc. to use a 206,700-square-foot warehouse in Baltimore for the start-up. Heidtman, which processed steel for RG Steel and others at the facility (amm.com, July 5), has agreed to sell the property to MoveTran when the lease expires.
MoveTran has four partners, three of whom worked at RG Steel. Gunter was division manager for supply chain and logistics at the shuttered Sparrows Point, Md., steelmaking complex.
"We are turning the service center into a transloading facility," Gunter said. RG Steel typically moved 280 inbound and outbound truckloads per day, he said, but "because RG is no longer operating, truckers have increased their pricing to come to the East Coast because they dont have backhauls."
MoveTran wants to save steel mills and their customers freight costs by encouraging them to ship by rail. Its facility is serviced by both CSX Corp. and Norfolk Southern Corp., and rail lines run directly into the heated plant.
"They can send coils by rail and we can unload and redistribute them throughout the Mid-Atlantic and East Coast," Gunter said. "You are looking at a $30-per-ton savings in supply chain costs," although that will vary depending on where the coils originate: Chicago, Cleveland or Berkeley, S.C., for example. "We can also receive coils from overseas and load to rail cars or trucks to ship domestically."
Gunter said the company is in the process of lining up customers. "We are talking to all the big steel mills," he said. One of its first customers is shipping 200 containers to be unloaded, or "stripped" in logistics parlance.
The facility features four 74-ton overhead cranes, one 25-ton crane, a 50,000-pound forklift, three 15,000-pound forklifts, six drive-through doors and a loading dock that can accommodate 40-foot containers. "A lot of traders do container work," Gunter said.
Due to its proximity to the Port of Baltimore, MoveTran will study the feasibility of "turning part of the facility into a foreign trade zone," he added.
Start-up costs range from $1.5 million to $2 million, according to Gunter, who said Heidtman helped MoveTran to obtain financing.
MoveTran expects to employ 20 people during ramp-up starting Jan. 1 and eventually hopes to operate 24/7 with the help of a large trucking firms on-site agent, Gunter said. When fully ramped up, the facility could handle 40,000 to 60,000 tons of metal per month.