Oakley Steel warehouses and dispatches its thick steel plate from Antwerp the largest steel handling port in the world. Antwerp is one of the largest ports in the world handling almost 200 million tonnes of freight in 2007. Of this 12 million tonnes was steel making it the largest steel port in the world.
The Advantages of Antwerp Steel Export Hub
Antwerp’s position in the heart of Western Europe’s steel making region, with excellent road and rail logistic links and its inland location (80 kilometers inland from the coast), make accessibility one of its key competitive advantages.
The regional steel mills mean that most of the steel shipped from Antwerp is structural, offshore, shipbuilding, high yield or pressure vessel plates as well as coils, sections, pipes, tubes and other long products
Using Antwerp as our logistics base gives Oakley Steel access to regular and reliable sailings to ports across the world, especially to Malaysia, Singapore, Indonesia, Vietnam and Thailand reducing the complexity, cost and transit times of shipping steel.
The size of the port allows us to offer both conventional and container sailings to many destinations on a regular basis reducing the need for transhipments which add time and cost.
The high volume of steel shipped through the port also gives us access to one of the world’s most skilled workforces in the loading and stowing of steel plate – reducing the risk of damage or loss in transit.
Alternatively if you choose to collect from our warehouse the steel can be quickly loaded onto ship, barge, truck or train and sent on to its final destination. This gives the flexibility to ensure that all out customers needs can be met.
Time and Cost Savings of Using Antwerp for the Export of Steel Plate
There are a relatively small number of European steel stockholders who have the capability or desire to ship steel to SE Asia. Most are based in the traditional industrial and manufacturing areas of the German Ruhr or the British midlands.
For UK steel stockholders there is a choice of either delivering to Felixstowe which means most of a day driving down the A14 and then delivery and clearance at the port.
Once there containers have either to be transhipped to Antwerp at additional cost or have to accept slower, less frequent and more expensive steel plate delivery times to SE Asia.
Wider plates have to be transhipped to Antwerp anyway which can significantly increase the shipping cost. What this means in practice is that given the sailing schedules delivery from the UK will normally take a week to 10 days longer given an order on the same date. Some times it will be just as fast if there is a good window before the next closing, but not always.
German stockholders have it easier as their are good roads from the Ruhr and bridges over all the rivers (as an aside when I was an engineering consultant we did look at building a bridge over the channel complete with container port in the middle!). Still the distance is a lot further and German stockholders are that little bit slower in being able to meet shipping deadlines.
Approximate Delivery costs to Antwerp from all 3 locations for a lorry with 20 metric tonne load. In reality trucks take longer than that shown due to the more restrictive speed limits on them than cars