Thursday 27th Oct 2016 - Logistics Manager

Future supplies of steel strap uncertain

Companies in the handling industry using steel strap for securing product should switch to polyester strapping sooner, rather than later, to avoid problems created by the uncertain future of steel strap supply, Cyclop UK warns.

David Hearn, managing director of strapping equipment and consumables manufacturer Cyclop, says that the substantial increases in steel prices and the inability of some suppliers to meet demand are set to force users of steel strap to look at alternatives. He explains: “The prices of all steel products have risen sharply in recent times, mainly due to escalating demands from the growing Far Eastern markets, with the cost of steel strap increasing month on month.

“However, the real concern is availability in the global market as the demand has grown and producers are unable to keep pace, the result being that end-users are finding it increasingly difficult to receive adequate deliveries to satisfy their production output. The concern here is that loads are being despatched that are not properly secured. Not only is this creating greater costs for users of steel strap in the UK and Europe, it leaves them very vulnerable to being unable to deliver safely packaged goods if their existing strap supplier has run out of stock.”

According to Hearn, companies should abandon steel strapping equipment in favour of the more available and cost-effective polyester tensional strap, which has health and safety benefits over steel strap, including preventing injuries to staff.

And he warns that companies which ignore the rising costs and potential unavailability of steel strap “face being unable to meet their delivery schedules”.