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Breakbulk September 2019

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September 2019 | The Journal of Commerce 13 www.joc.com Breakbulk & Project Cargo move cargo for these shippers must deal with complex project logistics. Michael Confessore, an experi- enced project industry forwarder who recently joined Mallory Alexander International Logistics, is importing mill upgrade components from South Korea and Italy for steel manufacturers in South Carolina and Alabama, among others. Despite the Trump adminis- tration's focus on imported steel as a tariff target — the US recently imposed duties of up to 456 percent on steel imports from Vietnam alone — Confes- sore aims to continue developing these import markets, which will lead to more steel production in the US when demand improves. Memphis, Tennessee-based Mallory Alexander recently moved a 40-metric ton startup ring (a mill component) from South Korea's Port of Masan aboard the roll-on, roll-off (ro-ro) ship WWO Tirrianna to the Port of Savannah and then on to a steel mill in Huger, South Carolina. Heavy-hauler Turner Transfer moved the cargo from the Georgia port to the mill, taking a day and a half, after three to four days to get permits to transit the two states. For the same Huger steel mill, Confessore also recently moved a containerized gear coupling and related components from Asti, Italy over the road to the Port of Genoa to be shipped by container carrier Mediterranean Shipping Co. (MSC). This time, the cargo discharged at Charleston. Before joining Mallory, he shipped a 3,200-cubic foot com - bustion chamber and components from Mumbai to a Fairfield, Alabama, steel mill on a breakbulk vessel via the Port of Mobile and heavy-haul trucks and flatbeds. A costly 'flip' Sherman Steel designs, engineers, and manufactures new steelmaking machinery for mills in the US and around the world. The 36-year-old company, based in Pittsburgh, Penn- sylvania, also does a brisk business in used and refurbished cold steel mill products. A little-known side enter- in wind, because of solar's satura- tion and curtailment. And while [Governor] Gavin Newsome has no wind-specific issue pending, we like the fact he appreciates the impor- tance of keeping the utilities solvent in the face of California's recent wildfires." Overall, Nader says, 5,800 MW of wind are currently operating and another 1,000 to 2,000 MW could be added onshore while federal tax cred - its are still available. As for offshore, the federal government has not leased any parcels yet, "but develop- ers will be ready when the Bureau of Land Management puts the parcels out to bid in 2020," she said. Nader noted the real difficulty is logistical — assembling and shipping large wind turbines. Because of the depth of the seabed, the consensus is that West Coast offshore wind turbines will have to float, rather than be anchored to the ocean floor. "Either they are assembled at the ports or offshore on floating plat- forms," she said. "It's a challenge." l email: chris@cbarnmedia.com STEEL MILLS IN the United States ini- tially rejoiced in the protectionism of the Trump administration's Section 232 import tariffs on foreign-made steel, but current earnings imply that initial optimism was misplaced. The steel market is racing to the bottom when it comes to pricing, as 2018's downward trend continues this year, according to IHS Markit, parent company of The Journal of Commerce. A combination of over- supply and stagnant demand from end users is putting downward pressure on pricing. The only cure will be curtailed production, which even - tually will push steel prices up again. Demand, on the other hand, could take a while to recover. IHS Markit has scaled back economic growth forecasts for many regions, including the US and the Eurozone. This environment stands in stark contrast with that of just over a year ago, when some US steel mills, responding to the tariffs and what was an improving market at the time, began refurbishing and updating their equipment. Whether refurbishing steel mills in the US or moving entire facilities from the US to developing regions — something that was more common prior to the Great Recession, when commodity prices were breathtaking and China was ramping up produc- tion — the project forwarders that Heavy metal Protectionist tariffs trigger steel mill moves By Chris Barnett The US recently imposed duties of up to 456 percent on certain steel imports. Shutterstock.com

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