NatRoad 2015: Operators shunning steel transport

By: Brad Gardner, Photography by: Brad Gardner


Former Bluescope manager says fewer contractors want to cart steel

NatRoad 2015: Operators shunning steel transport
Ingilby Dickson says it is getting harder to find trucking companies that want to cart steel.

 

The number of trucking operators willing to cart steel is declining, according to a former high-level manager for leading steel maker and manufacturer Bluescope.

Ingilby Dickson, who recently finished a 12-year stint as the general manager of supply chain and logistics at Bluescope, says the work involved in transporting steel puts off many trucking operators.

He adds that there are stringent safety requirements imposed on operators and drivers, specifically around load restraint and vehicle standards and guidelines.

"To be honest, it is harder and harder to find contractors that want to do steel. It’s break bulk, it’s long, round products that require flat tops in many cases," he says.

"For the driver it is physical work. You don’t just rock up at his place and pull the curtains and it’s all done for you, it’s hard work."

Dickson says it is important Bluescope looks after the transport operators and drivers it currently relies on to transport its goods.

"There are carriers that we use in Tamworth, Dubbo, all the way up the Queensland coast that we love and need," he says.

"There are very few of them left so we have got to make sure we work together to try and make sure they stay with us.

"Otherwise we end up with a subbie-to-subbie and both we and that main contractor start to lose control. We’ve learnt that over time."

Bluescope manufactures steel for Australian, New Zealand and US markets. It has footprints throughout the Pacific, Asia and the US.

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