Shelving Concepts Notes Importance of Buying American Made Steel Products

Industry: Industrial Equipment

Steel pallet racks require quality steel for durability. For over 20 years, much imported steel has failed to make the cut in reliable engineering for material goods handling storage equipment.

Houston, Texas (PRUnderground) June 10th, 2020

Buying Made in the U.S.A. products is not just about nationalistic devotion. American owned, operated and Houston, Texas based company, Shelving Concepts, points to how American steel products far exceed those of other nations in quality and standards. Houston’s oldest shelving manufacturer (Dixie Shelving & Shelving Concepts), is a manufacturer and distributor of steel racks & shelves for industrial storage. Holding steel quality as extremely important is a necessity to ensure safety and reliability and has been a challenge imported steel products have failed to meet for 20 years.

“The value of buying American made steel racks/industrial storage racking as opposed to cheaper imported warehouse racks is clear,” commented a spokesperson from Shelving Concepts. “New tariffs have made this even more evident by reducing even the perceived savings of those who are shopping for imported steel manufacturing handling equipment deals in Asia and elsewhere. Even worse, recent research in the market of import racks, which attempted to check the specs from these import pallet rack companies, have come up empty-handed. These companies don’t match United States steel standards in quality and seem to disguise what standards they are holding to, if any. What little savings that may appear to be available through imports is not really a savings at all if the purchased equipment doesn’t last or perform the way it should.”

Qualifications for compatibility to USA standards include details like density testing, tensile strength, yield strength testing, compression testing, to name just a few essentials. From imports these come up lacking. Even more, just finding out these vital details when negotiating with Chinese sources can be as frustrating as asking a counter person what kind of meat is in a hamburger at McDonalds.

A source recently remarked, “No offshore factory has provided these standards and when asked, they tell me they rely on the distributor-sellers to provide any needed data themselves. Put another way… the steel makers in China will not do what is needed to meet the guidelines in the countries their product is sold into. You must do it if you are the seller in the USA. Don’t forget the difference between cheap steel and quality American steel can be dramatic, with some of the Chinese steel missing components required to hold heavy loads and even collapsing – resulting in injuries to workers or destruction of property. This is a nightmare no one needs.”

With the recent media coverage of the lack of quality in life protecting masks and ventilators from China, the idea of steel sold from the country also being misrepresented shouldn’t surprise anyone.

Imported racks are so known for failures in the USA, many distributors have resolved to sell them only for lighter weight capacity. However, this doesn’t account for compromised welding practices and less density on the products. Recent and ongoing lawsuits show this is a quite dangerous policy. Distributors may claim their racks can be permitted in any state in the nation or provide specs via email, but these email specifications are not stamped engineering drawings and cannot be relied on. The lawsuits fall on the seller!

Overall, when a company addresses its most pressing concerns in this area when considering ordering from a Made in the USA vs foreign source, these factors should be remembered: 

1) Potential for damaged components

2) How much the company values the safety of its employees and customers

3) The need to provide sufficient training for rack inspections

4) Savings in time, money, and extra safety when buying the right racks in the first place

The final decision will come down to a company’s combination of vetting process and good, common sense. We do not want you compromised by any decision you make. It may be a good idea to stick to USA made racks using the same specs and welding practices, while also asking the seller if they have ever had a failure. Small business industry has been taken advantage of by imports and this has been going on in the material handling industry for years. There is no time for change like the present.

Always get your upper echelon involved with the decision of who to buy the racks from. The wrong call could affect them dearly.

To receive experienced assistance with your steel material storage equipment, contact Shelving Concepts experts at 713-957-1111 today!

About Shelving Concepts

Shelving Concepts is a leader in Houston pallet rack sales and in all of Southeast Texas as well.
As a racking and industrial shelving manufacturer and stocking distributor in the Gulf Coast area, Shelving Concepts is your “count on us” source for pallet racks, industrial shelving, widespan shelving, rivet shelving, cantilever racking, and wire decking.

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Tom Amoruso
(713) 957-1111
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