Working together to maintain reliable supply chains in times of uncertainty

Ross Walker, Business Development Manager at Peel Ports Group will be attending the International Steel Trade Association (ISTA) annual lunch on 29 November. This important event provides the industry with a platform for discussion on the key issues it faces. Here Ross discusses the opportunities facing the steel industry and where Peel Ports can help.

This is the fourth consecutive year that we have sponsored the ISTA annual lunch, joining customers, suppliers and enablers within the industry.

And it’s safe to say it’s been a tough and turbulent year, with issues including EU Safeguarding measures, automotive industry downturn, Brexit, volatile foreign exchange rates, high profile insolvencies and tightening credit insurance.

It’s also clear that the steel trading fraternity is a dynamic community that rises to these challenges, sourcing from origins further afield as quotas fill and closer to home in line with European steel prices and the requirement for shorter supply chains.

The ISTA gathering is a chance for the industry to come together and look ahead at the opportunities, as well as the challenges.  Michael Horan, the President of the National Association of Steel Service Centres, said at their annual dinner, “Commerce is like water. We will find a way to bypass, flow round or erode the obstacles we face.” I like this sentiment. Things might not be easy, but business always adapts, and so must we.

Just this year, we were proud to receive Authorised Economic Operator status in Customs Simplification and Security & Safety across five of our ports. This is an important step in our becoming Brexit-ready and one which allows us to continue trading efficiently with Europe.

In addition in May we strengthened our port services offering by acquiring Quality Freight (UK) Limited, which, from 1 January, will add incremental value to customers beyond our core services.

Our strategically located ports already have the advantage of close proximity to the construction and manufacturing heartlands of the south-east and the Midlands, alongside state of the art facilities and secure and accessible port-centric storage. We recognise that deep-sea and short-sea cargoes require different approaches and both are crucial to the UK’s steel eco-system.

Our locations, coupled with our passion in delivering robust, collaborative and innovative solutions, is evident in the growth of steel volumes through our terminals over the past four years, increasing to over 750,000 tonnes across the group in 2018/19. Every decision we make links back to making trade easier for our customers by providing timely, cost-effective and environmentally-responsible delivery solutions.

All of the above will allow us to continue to focus on our existing customers during what is undoubtedly a challenging period, ensuring we are all working together to maintain reliable supply chains.

If you are attending the ISTA Annual Lunch, then we look forward to seeing you there. If you would like to find out more about our end to end logistics solutions, then please contact me. 

Ross Walker

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