|Most structural steel, around 70%, is supplied to fabricators directly by steel service centers. While four domestic mills provide structural steel to the U.S. market, hundreds of steel service centers are strategically located across the nation.
Steel service centers buy steel from each rolling cycle at every mill and keep it as inventory to sell to fabricators. They keep a full range of steel products in multiple lengths and also provide value-added services to fabricators such as first-stage, pre-fabrication processing (cutting beams to length, tee splitting, cambering, plate burning) and meeting staged delivery requirements (e.g. delivering multiple shapes from various producers according to the project sequence).
Service centers maintain inventory levels according to market conditions; ensuring steel is always available by acting as a “shock absorber” for any unexpected peaks in demand.