Hard to believe it has already been 2 years. Over the last 2 years we have tackled such issues as rail, steel contracts, 232 proceedings, China, and many other topics. Even though we did not resolve all we have tried to keep you up to date on items that may impact you and your business.
Since this is my last Ferrous Beat article I will share a personal thought. I am truly torn this year as to where our country is. Sometimes I see great things, and sometimes things are very ugly. I am not sure how we got here but I want all of us to understand one thing … societies in the past thought they could not fall and they did. So, we should learn from the past, or we too will fall, ok enough of my personal thoughts.
I take full credit for this market upswing (just kidding). For once it appears the fundamentals that fuel markets are in place, the economy is doing well, demand and supply are pulling at each other, and export is doing well. These basic concepts are now in play at the same time, which should allow 2018 to continue the fun. Caution is always the word and I marvel at those who predict pricing for the next month right after the sales are done; how many times has that been wrong?
ISRI has a lot going on and I wanted to remind you of the convention coming up in April. ISRI has many great workshops that you should take advantage of and be sure to stop in and see me at the Ferrous Spotlight.
I do see continued transportation problems for us. The railroads have once again taken the spotlight as being such a pain for our industry that we are forced to find ways to prod them to do their job. One such way is working with the Surface Transportation Board (STB) and even though they are not at full strength yet … come on Mr. President, we are aligned with other industries to voice our displeasure. I personally feel that this will be a struggle that will continue to be a pain for our industry. With that said, trucking continues to have its own set of problems. As if finding good truck drivers was not hard enough, the new regulations in place will decrease that pool and force cost up.
In closing, I truly want to thank you for allowing me to serve as your Chair, it has been my honor. Your incoming Chair, Mr. Mike Lewis will do a great job and I look forward to working with him. I also want to thank Billy Johnson, even though you are sometimes scattered, this is the second time I have had the pleasure to work with you and it has always been fun and interesting.
I wish you and your families well this year and let’s try hard to make a difference. I truly thank you for this opportunity and hope to serve for you again in the future.
Ferrous Division Chair