Metal Center News

JAN 2018

Metal Center services the metal center and toll processor industry.

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picking up; there's a lot of that going on. Other than that, it's kind of a lull. We're all hoping it's better. N Heneveld: If you can tell me what the price of steel is going to be in June, I can tell you what kind of year we're going to have. N Merlo: There are some market seg- ments that are saying they're going to be up. I don't know about the ones that are up this year, but rail cars/tank cars are expecting to be up from kind of a lull this year. Transportation in general. Oil country, there's no question that's going to be a little better than it was. For us, 2017 was really flat through the first three quarters. N David Bernstein: Ag is medio- cre with probably another year of that. Crop prices pretty low. Yields pretty high. It's been soft. N Sennett: Automotive looks like it's going to be pretty solid. It's at tradition- ally high numbers. It's flat at numbers that are extremely good. Unfortunately, with the floods, that just added another million and a half cars to production. N Tenenholtz: It's also hurting truck- ing right now. All the trucks are down there. N Randy Haas: The other factor is driver shortage; it's getting worse and worse and it's not going to change. N Tom Kennon: And the new regula- tions in December. That's going to be huge. MCN: Are you getting a sense of how serious that's going to be in terms of loss of drivers? N Tenenholtz: We have our own fleet, for our shipments. It's inbound shipments were having trouble with. Hiring drivers is a tremendous chal- lenge. I think Randy's right; it's not going to get better. People are discour- aged from becoming drivers. Ten years from now, we might be looking at the roads and see trucks moving down the road without a driver. People are say- ing it's kind of a dead-end career. N Sazama: They don't want to han- dle chains or straps or tarps. N Prine: If we lose a driver, it's al- ways going to a van. They talk it up. N Heneveld: We get them back be- cause they want to be home every night. They spend a couple of weeks on the road, and then they want back. N Sabel: I don't know if electronic logs will have much to do with fleet changes. They knew they have to do it. The independents, small guys, that's where the problem is going to be. I won- der how many trucks will have e-logs. The change in confidence is going from an anti-business administration – if they weren't anti-business, they did a hell of a good job looking like it – to a pro-business administration. That's a huge change. That's where the confi- dence lies. In some fields, business has picked up a lot. In my area, business is worse than last year, as far as volume. MCN: Why? N Keith: I think there's less busi- ness and more competition from the big boys. The big boxes seem to have worked out a way to minimize their profits in good markets and bad. Real- ly. The price goes down, they go down immediately, price goes up, they wait. That's how you minimize profits. N Tenenholtz: Keith, do you think some of that is due to distorted prices, where the big boys were getting enor- mous discounts? N Sabel: Yes. N Tenenholtz: Do you see a change since that's leveled off? N Sabel: Our competitors seem to be pricing it to just make their discount/ 18 ❘ Metal Center News — January 2018 From left, Scion Steel's Rick Constantini, NASA's Mike Wagner, Sabel Steel Service's Keith Sabel and Simcoe Steel's Roger Simmons. NASA Roundtable

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