Port of Oswego aluminum business rebounds after months of hurt from tariffs

The year is ending much better than it started for the Port of Oswego, thanks to a rebound in its aluminum business.

The yard at the Port is jam packed again with blocks of aluminum, but it wasn’t always the case. Only about six months ago the yard was nearly empty.

Port Executive Director and CEO Bill Scriber says, “The tariffs cost us heavily in our first quarter, but we’re now recovering.”

The Port was getting very little aluminum because of US tariffs on the product coming from Canada, their main supplier.

Those tariffs were lifted and the Port went out and aggressively sought business back from its customers.

Scriber says they’re about back to normal levels, important not just for them but all of Central New York.

“It means basically jobs. Every truck driver, every longshoreman, all the supplies that go to us to be able to deliver those are jobs for the local economy and Central New York,” he explains to NewsChannel 9.

It’s important they stockpile as much as they can at the Port with the St. Lawrence seaway scheduled to close to shipping for the winter at the end of the year.

Just one shipload of aluminum is equal to 200 rail cars, which are also bringing in aluminum ingots to the Port.

The aluminum is used by Novelis just up the road in the making of Ford Truck bodies and cans and there is enough at the Port to meet their needs all winter.

Scriber says the outlook for 2020 looks good right now.

“Well, I don’t have a crystal ball, but I think a fair assumption would be we’re going to go back to our normal aluminum supply chain. We’re very aggressive on our pricing and we have a lot of support from many of our customers that supply us the aluminum,” he says.

The Port of Oswego is in the process of creating what’s called a Foreign Trade Zone to protect from tariffs in the future.


SOURCE: News Channel 9