Even after near 30 years in the steel industry, I am still truly amazed just how common steel is in all areas of life and business. It’s impossible to as much as walk down the street or through a home without encountering a product made with steel. Try it sometime, and you’ll see for yourself.
Obviously some industries rely more on steel than others, and it’s important to understand the extent to which steel is used spanning dozens of industries, products, and purposes. Many of these industries are greatly impacted by changes in the steel market; in turn, the steel industry is impacted by their respective changes, fluctuations and trends.
Those of us at Pacesetter do our best to know the ins and outs of the industries we work closely with. On the same token, professionals in the industries we partner with are well aware of just how vital steel is to their everyday business. Whatever end you are on, understanding the nuances and implications of these relationships is important.
Here are five big industries that rely on steel, what the steel business means for their products and operations, and what their business means to us.
As we’ve touched on previously, steel is one of the world’s most reliable materials in large part due to its usage in construction. At once energy-efficient, hyper-durable, long-lasting and lightweight, steel beams are commonplace in public and private construction sites. From infrastructure like railroads and bridges to skyscrapers, homes, and parks, steel provides the ultimate in affordability and strength.
The majority of steel is used in this industry, as structures can be built quickly at a low cost. For this reason, construction trends and steel industry influence one another directly.
2. Automotive & Transport
As it remains the material of choice for automakers worldwide, steel helps manufacturers reach the desired strength and safety levels for vehicles large and small. In fact, everything in the transportation industry from trains, to ships, and airplanes relies heavily on steel to transport people and goods, whether overseas or cross-town.
Steel’s incredible strength-to-weight ratio has revolutionized transportation, which continues to improve and innovate all of the time. We owe every amazing capability from air travel to battleships to this resilient material.
At Pacesetter, we follow automotive trends regarding regulation, energy efficiency, and emerging materials to better understand how our industries will work together in the future.
The energy sector is a constantly shifting, but whether it’s oil or solar, you can bet that steel is critical in the infrastructure. Hydro, wind, electric and natural gas, and just about any other energy source out there demands steel in construction. So long as energy is in demand—which for the world to run, it always will be—steel will be a necessary resource.
Even so, things like dropping gas prices (made possible by a natural gas boom in North America) do impact the price of steel. That’s why we make sure to pay attention to every new shift and trend that comes along in the energy sector, and prepare to act and react accordingly.
For about 200 years, steel has been used to package goods and protect them from exposure by water, air, and sunlight. Packaging is a cold-rolled steel specialty, allowing for high-speed filling and easy opening.
Steel packaging is most common in food and beverages, though you will also find it in general lines and closures such as bottle caps.
Lastly, your kitchen and entire household almost certainly wouldn’t be the same without steel, which accounts for 75% of the average household appliance’s weight. Think washer machines, refrigerators, dishwashers, sinks, ovens, and other products vital to the modern home.
It’s clear, then, that Pacesetter has its eye on the road, in the home, in the sky and the sea as we continue to innovate and provide the best in steel service and delivery. Any and every trend in the aforementioned industries may affect the relationships we have built, just as the steel market impacts their own day-to-day operations.
At the end of the day, great partnerships and attention to the trends of today and tomorrow are key to keeping the world running the way we’ve carefully built it: like a fine-tuned, steel machine.