One of the most costly mistakes a company can make occurs when it is importing steel.
Steel production in the US has been in decline for decades. Foreign mills can churn out high-quality low cost steel cheaply. American mills have responded by lobbying congress for strict, anti-import policies. The main tool of such policies is the “Anti-Dumping Duty,” (or ADD). Whether so-called dumping is economic sabotage or just a more competitive producer selling the same good for less is a matter of debate. But the anti-dumping duty is real. It is extremely onerous. And an importer ignores it at their peril.
When importing steel, a company needs to know if it will run afoul of the ADD. You can search for cases that have been made for ADD at CBP’s website here. The easiest way to do this is by consulting a customs broker before sourcing the steel. Anti-Dumping Duties are very specific in what they target. Not all foreign steel makers are targeted. Also, one steel maker isn’t targeted as a whole. Last, not all steel goods are targeted uniformly. Instead, specific commodities from specific mills in specific countries are subject to ADD. It is hard to know if the supplier you will be importing steel from is subject to ADD without asking a knowledgeable customs broker.
About How to Ship When Importing Steel and Exporting Steel
Really, there are two ways of shipping by ocean steel goods around the world. Container vessels are the first. They are dependable, inexpensive, and they have regular and frequent travel times. But there are limits one on the shape and size for the importing steel. The limits are based on the inside dimensions of the containers and a container’s maximum cargo weight capacity. On the other hand, break bulk ships have no such limitations. Still, their drawback is that they are more costly, they sail less frequently, and not all ports are serviced by them. There are other options, like ro/ro, but these options must be investigated on a case-by-case basis.
Shipping steel by air is an option as well. However, it is rarely used because of the costliness of air freight. Only in special circumstances is it worthwhile to import unfinished steel by this mode.
Trucking steel in the US is the most used way of transporting limited quantities domestically. We can help ship steel all throughout the lower 48 using flatbed trucks or more specialized equipment as need be.
Contact Texas International Freight to see what method best suits your needs when importing steel or exporting steel.