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September 19, 2018

Huge Amount Of Aluminum Rolling Into Port


OSWEGO – The number of railcars rolling into the Port of Oswego Authority this spring has increased significantly over last year.

A worker heads into a railcar to scoop up some aluminum.

A worker heads into a railcar to scoop up some aluminum.

“This is the 40th railcar we received since January,” William Scriber, acting executive director of the Port of Oswego Authority, told Oswego County Today. “We basically had no railcars the two previous years. We are aggressively going at increasing our aluminum at the port.”

This is just one example of how the port is making a very productive stride at increasing its aluminum over the last couple years, he added.

The vast majority of the aluminum is headed to the Novelis

Preparing to off-load pieces of aluminum.

Preparing to off-load pieces of aluminum.

“We basically haven’t received aluminum by railcar in about three years, I think,” Scriber said. “In the summer, we started an aggressive outreach to our aluminum producers and brokers and offered some incentives to bring it in via rail, via barge. And this is one of those examples that we’re now seeing aluminum turn around back toward railcar at the port.”

“At one time, we used to receive this volume. Now you’re looking at 40 railcars only since January. This (volume) is really just January, February and March,” he added.

There is typically about 144 pieces per car.

Off-loading the aluminum.

Off-loading the aluminum.

“Add those numbers up quick, and it’s an awful lot of pieces of aluminum coming in by rail,” he said. “Plus we received our first barge in early this year, on April 1.”

It takes three people to handle the off-loading operation.

It takes, depending on barge, 12 to 20 hours, or two to two and half shifts to complete. For railcars three people and, again, depending on the number, 8 to 12 hours and one to one half shifts

The aluminum comes from all over. Some comes from Massena and some from Canada.

“We look to be on an up tick this year overall on our inbound aluminum,” Scriber said.

The aluminum is stacked and ready to head to its final destination.

The aluminum is stacked and ready to head to its final destination.

Aluminum Rail Cars
2016 (2)
2017 (2)
2018 (40 as of April 5!)

Metric Tons Ship and Barge
2017 vs. 2018

2017 April total 10,774 MT
2018 April total 15, 018 MT – Either on dock or en route to dock for April.

That’s a 39% increase over last year.

2 Responses “Huge Amount Of Aluminum Rolling Into Port”

  1. ariel
    April 9, 2018 at 12:22 pm

    Bypassing the Port would be better for Novelis. It’s only 3.5 miles between the two, but it costs them $$$$. And it’s all to pay for $16,000 in credit card expenses and $220,000 in salary for the guy/gal at the top. I bet those tow motor operators are paid minimum wage and are part time. Do they handle the aluminum twice? It should go DIRECTLY from rail car to delivery vehicle and not incur warehousing. Lack of oversight added to greed is bad for business, as are tariffs on Canadian aluminum.

  2. Robert
    April 9, 2018 at 3:35 pm

    Ariel, bypassing the port would only cost Novelis more $$$ simply based on the fact that the demurrage on those railcars would be too high to not utilize the port. Ever try to get unloaded at Novelis with just a semi-truck? I have & there was plenty of times I sat there for an entire 8-hour shift just to dump one trailer of material due to them using only what they needed off of it at the time. Novelis really isn’t a “warehousing” operation as they have other, more important things to tend to besides that alone & having the port tend to the different types of materials needed(yes, there’s differences in the ingots) & getting it there as needed is more of a bargain for them…at least for now. The last sentence of your post though is spot-on!

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