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Drum It Up! Steel Drum Industry News, Trends, and Issues

Archive for 2002

Update On The Steel Tariff

August 6th, 2002 by Howard Skolnik

Filed under: Uncategorized

Still a major pain for the steel drum industry and the US economy, the Steel Tariff imposed by President Bush continues to cause problems for industry and end users. Being the third largest users of steel in the US, the steel drum industry has approached Congress with requests for exemptions and termination of the Tariff. With all requests being denied, it appears that the Tariff is here to stay, and that end users can look for rising costs to continue. While this has probably been the easiest price increase to justify to customers, it has certainly been the largest percentage increase we have ever seen, and there is still no relief in sight. Looking to 2003, we hope to see prices level, but there are no guarantees as the steel industry continues to retool and adjust to the vast wave of new business. In this market, our first priority is to have the raw materials on hand so that our customers are protected from product shortages.

Transit Costs Down? Satisfaction Up?

August 6th, 2002 by Fred Heuschel

Filed under: Uncategorized

In today‘s global business environment, choosing a freight carrier shouldn’t be left to chance. The sheer volume of freight traversing highways is enormous and the possibility for errors or unnecessary expenditure is great. Wise business owners or CEO‘s should be involved in the process of choosing a carrier. A shipping clerk or logistics manager may not be in the best position to make the most efficient and cost-effective decision for the company. Logistics, supply-chain management, just-in-time delivery and outsourcing are examples of the complicated network of shipping options confronting the business operator today. At Skolnik, we are familiar with many transit options, but we highly encourage our customers to use their preferred carrier to haul their drums. While we have a good working relationship with a host of carriers, each individual customer is much better suited to identify their specific transportation needs, negotiate their rates, and establish an individual relationship with a carrier. The business owner, purchasing agent or CEO or trusted logistics manager who invests time in developing an individual relationship with a specific carrier will save time, money and headache over the ’long haul.‘

Understanding Weight Vs Dimensional Based Pricing

August 6th, 2002 by Adam Uhlarik

Filed under: Uncategorized

Shipping costs are not merely a function of weight. Instead, freight carriers use a volume-based or dimensional pricing system. What exactly does this mean to the drum industry? Well, given a fixed weight, as the amount of cargo space taken up increases, so does the shipping cost per pound. The result is a disproportionately higher shipping cost for all drum sizes 30 gallons and up, due to their large volume and relatively light weight. This is also why common carriers have come up with a general freight classing system for most products. By contacting your freight carrier and describing the goods to be shipped, one can easily obtain the most appropriate freight classification code. In the future, though, shippers hope to implement new high-tech, low-cost scanners so that we will be able to calculate accurate shipping classes and, in turn, reduce shipping costs.

Say “No” To Vibration Testing

July 9th, 2002 by Howard Skolnik

Filed under: Associations, DOT/UN

As a result of issues brought forth to members of the European Delegation of the United Nations Committee of Experts, a recent proposal was circulated that would require vibration testing to be mandatory for a design type, and thus retested at least annually. The current ‘capability’ requirement does not require an annual retest. The impact of this proposal, if it were to be adopted by the UN, would be another cost passed on to end users for a questionable test. There is no evidence to support that vibration testing, let a lone annual vibration testing, will result in the reduction of an in-transit failure. The ‘packaging community’ and associations such as the Reusable Industrial Packaging Association and the Dangerous Goods Advisory Council are opposing this test requirement and have sent comments to the UN COE with the goal of validating the effectiveness of the current vibration requirement.