From Factory to Facility: The Logistics of Bulk Steel Delivery

February 5, 2024 in Blog
Bulk Steel Delivery Logistics

Steel is one of the best inventions when it comes to construction. It’s recyclable and helps the environment, it helps to save on energy costs, and it’s durable. You can use it for a wide variety of projects and applications.

But do you know what goes into bulk steel procurement? It’s important to understand the process if you want to find a steel distributor you can trust to deliver high-quality materials for your next project.

Here’s what you should know about the logistics of bulk steel delivery in your area.

Steel Production Process

Bulk steel procurement begins in the factory where steel is made. Two main industrial processes go into producing steel: basic oxygen steelmaking (BOS) and electric arc furnaces (EAF).

BOS starts with raw material preparation. Iron ore, limestone, and coke are crushed and washed before being fed into the blast furnace. The materials are heated to extremely high temperatures to reduce the iron ore to iron.

The molten iron goes into a Basic Oxygen Furnace where pure oxygen reduces the carbon content and removes impurities. The steel may also be further processed with other elements to make varying grades.

With EAF, recycled steel scrap is the primary material. High-powered electric arcs melt the scrap, and it is further refined to remove impurities. The refined steel is then cast into different shapes.

There are three main differences between the two practices.

First, BOS uses iron ore, while EAF uses recycled steel scrap. Second, EAF is more environmentally friendly because it uses recycled materials. Third, BOS is primarily used for much larger-scale production.

Bulk Procurement

When a potential customer wants a bulk steel shipment, they will need to negotiate terms, prices, delivery schedules, and payment terms with a supplier. In most cases, bulk purchases have better terms due to the larger order size.

Your supplier will provide formal quotations detailing what you discussed with them. You’ll sign a purchase order that legally binds the two parties.

The ordering company is responsible for scheduling deliveries in line with their projected timeline. They must also make sure they have the right equipment and personnel to unload and store the bulk steel order.

A good supplier should have a quality management system in place so they can provide consistently high-quality products. They should also have years of experience in the industry so they can deal with any issues that pop up.

Find a manufacturer that has flexibility and can accommodate your needs. It also helps if you invest in high-quality products rather than purchase inexpensive alternatives that may be of lower quality.

Preparing for Steel Delivery

Once a steel distributor receives an order, they need to review the various specifications and any special requirements. They check their inventory to see if they need to schedule production or if they can process it immediately.

Quality control checks verify that the product meets the required standards and specifications. They may also need to prepare quality certificates and compliance documents if the customer requires them.

Steel material will be packaged to protect it during transit. This often includes waterproofing and protective coverings. The materials should also be labeled appropriately with information such as the order number and customer name.

Freight shipments may utilize packing materials such as shipping pallets, crates, and freight boxes, depending on the dimensions of the products.

Bulk Transport Logistics

The supplier is responsible for arranging transportation. Depending on where it’s shipping from, this could involve trucks, ships, or even trains.

Your bulk steel order is loaded using cranes, forklifts, and other equipment. It’s secured as appropriate to avoid too much movement or becoming damaged in transit.

All vehicles are kept in good working condition and must comply with transportation regulations. In addition, they will be loaded in the most efficient way to maximize space utilization without going over the load capacity.

Accurate records of inventory levels are kept so future orders can be filled quickly and efficiently. This often involves the use of logistics software and real-time tracking.

The customer will receive a notification about the dispatch, including the delivery schedule. They may also have access to a tracking system that monitors the delivery’s progress. If there are any issues, they can reach out to customer support for answers.

Shipping documents are sent to the customer, including bills and invoices. If this delivery is international, then the supplier handles those details.

Bulk Steel Storage Options

A project manager in charge of receiving a bulk steel order needs to have a designated storage area. This area should be easily accessible for loading and unloading. It should also have a level and clean surface to prevent corrosion of the steel.

You should use cranes or forklifts to unload large shipments of steel. Only trained personnel should operate this equipment.

Organize the steel by type, size, and project phase. Keep high-grade steel covered with tarps and other waterproof covers to prevent rust and corrosion.

Keep accurate records of your steel inventory, such as what has been received and what needs to be re-ordered. Site security measures like fencing and locks will be necessary to prevent theft or vandalism.

Finally, make sure you store your bulk steel in such a way that it complies with building codes and regulations. The last thing you need is to unload a huge shipment only to be forced to move it to another location.

Find a Bulk Steel Distributor You Can Rely On

There’s a lot of work and logistics involved in bulk steel shipments. You can’t afford for any of these steps to go wrong, because that could mean steel goes missing, gets lost in the shuffle, or even ends up at the wrong location. Instead, you should work with a steel supplier and distributor with years of experience working in their industry.

Intsel Steel East, formerly Bushwick Metals, has offered premium steel distribution and processing solutions for over a century. Reach out to us today if you need a new supply of steel products across the Northeastern United States.


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