The joint ISRI Board of Directors and Southeast Chapter Meetings in beautiful and historic Charleston during October were a great success (and I would say that even if I didn’t live in SC)!
The Ferrous Division meeting started with Greg Brown, CEO of BENLEE Trailers, providing a series of sobering and thorough safety messages on many of the risks that must be considered when operating transportation and mobile equipment. The presentation included a forklift incident that could have been avoided by installation of an after-market seatbelt monitoring device, which prevents engine ignition when the seatbelt is not connected. Greg’s presentation
will be distributed to attendees in the minutes of the meeting, and is also available to members who were not able to attend.
It was reassuring to hear ISRI’s Chief Economist Joe Pickard’s, markets and economic report, which was overwhelmingly positive. Strong economic fundamentals propelled the U.S. economy to a 3.5% growth rate during Q3. In addition, to the economy doing well, domestic steel mill utilization rates have risen significantly and exports of ferrous scrap are up by 25% YTD August.
Despite positive economic conditions here in the U.S., global markets remain nervous about the potential impacts of the USA-China Trade War. Senior Director of Government Relations & International Affairs Adina Adler, updated the group on the current trade issues that may impact the recycling industry, including ISRI’s pending request to secure an exemption for shredder wear parts from the Section 301 tariffs (which was pending at the time of the meeting). However, this week, the USTR notified ISRI that the request for exemption has been denied due to the fact that shredder wear parts are available from countries other than China. We will be sure to discuss how members are dealing with this development in more detail during our next meeting. Adina also made the group aware of a Trade Mission that ISRI is planning to make to Southeast Asia during the fall of 2019 and requested any interested members to contact her or ISRI Trade Committee Chair Randy Goodman.
As meaningful step towards addressing the various transportation issues that continue to negatively impact the recycling industry, Greg Dixon, chair of the recently created Transportation Task Force, presented a draft of a proposed ISRI Transportation Policy, which is now available for member comment. A finalized version of this policy will be presented to the Government Relations Committee during the next meeting in January. Greg also asked any interested members with transportation expertise – container, barge, vessel, truck and/or rail – to consider joining the Transportation Task Force to help address the many logistical issues facing the industry. If you are interested in joining the task force contact Billy Johnson.
I’m also pleased to report that Tom Knippel of SA Recycling has agreed to represent the Ferrous Division on a team recently formed by ISRI to review ISRI’s Scrap Specifications Circular, with a main goal of continuing to enhance the usefulness and adoption of ISRI specs as the global standard for trading in recyclables.
In this exciting and rapidly changing environment, please don’t hesitate to contact me or any of ISRI’s staff with any questions, concerns, or requests to get involved.
The next stop for the Board of Directors roadshow will be Austin, Texas in January. Hope to see you there!
Ferrous Division Chair
Ferrous Beat Main