Material Handling and Storage for Growing Oil and Gas Industry

While there are no recession-proof markets, there are always markets that are expected to stay strong. One of the markets predicted to remain exceptionally strong and grow is the oil and gas industry, according to Alan Beaulieu, economist and president of Trend Research. In fact, MarketLine Research projects that the U.S. oil and gas industry is expected to grow at a 7% compounded annual growth rate through 2015.

What does this mean for the material handling and warehousing industry? Since all oil and gas must be transported and or stored, there is and will continue to be a growing market for material handling and warehousing equipment for this industry segment.

What type of oil and gas companies should you be targeting with material handling and warehousing equipment? While the list is quite lengthy, here are a few segments of the industry to consider: distributors, refineries, drilling companies, oil field service companies, hydraulic fracturing companies, gasoline and motor oil companies gas, as well as specialty gas, welding and safety supply companies.

What material handling products are needed? Since all oil and gas needs to be transported and distributed, many or all of the following material handling products are also needed: dock boards and plates, yard ramps, portable steel platforms, and edge of dock levelers. There are also industry specific products like fracking ramps (for fracturing sites) or AWL and AWC plates, which are designed for the safe transport and distribution of specialty gases on and off pallets.

Oil and gas companies will also have warehouse needs, providing sales opportunities for stairs, ladders, landings, mezzanines, and cantilever racks. In addition, with the dangers involved in storing and handling liquid and gas fuel there is definitely a need for warehouse safety products like safety barriers, machine guards, post protectors, rack guards, bollards, and modular post protectors.

Since most of Bluff’s products are ANSI, OSHA or IBC tested to insure optimal safety, many of our products are perfect for the handling and storage of gas and oil because of the dangers involved and the stringent safety guidelines. Similarly, all Bluff products are manufactured at our plant in America meeting high-quality standards, whereas many other material handling and warehousing products are manufactured in other countries.

Be sure to capture your share of this rapidly growing market! If you would like more information on material handling and warehousing products for the oil and gas industry, contact us at 800-433-2212.

Freight Railroads Plan $24.5 Million Revitalization Project

The Association of American Railroads (AAR) announced that freight railroads will be investing an estimated $24.5 million into a major freight railroad revitalization plan in 2013 according to Material Handling Wholesaler magazine’s March issue. This comprehensive plan includes building, maintaining and upgrading America’s rail network to ensure that freight railroads continue to contribute to the nation’s economy. This investment in America’s freight railroads is significant for everyone selling material handling equipment, since literally every product moved from boxcar to dock or dock to boxcar needs a rail board for safe and efficient transport. Similarly, every product moved from the ground into a boxcar or from a boxcar to the ground needs a yard ramp and potentially a platform for effective and safe loading and unloading. This means 650 freight railroads across the U.S. may be looking for rail boards, yard ramps, as well as portable steel platforms as part of this initiative to upgrade and enhance the capacity of our nation’s freight rail network.

Rail board

Are you ready to capture your share of this rail freight market? Do you have the equipment knowledge you need to provide the best possible solutions for transporting freight in and out of boxcars? Did you know that Bluff’s all-steel construction rail boards are custom-designed for use on all types of railway cars, including refrigerated cars and the special cars used in the lumber and the paper industries? In addition, every Bluff rail board is engineered with specifications to match specific dock conditions so you can meet the needs of all of your freight customers. Bluff rail boards are also engineered with heavy duty locking rings for safe and secure positioning for capacities up from 15,000 to 90,000 lbs.

Bluff’s 36′ yard ramp unit with a 6’ level off is the best solution for ground-to-boxcar loading. For boxcar loading and unloading in remote areas of a rail yard, a portable steel dock combined with a yard ramp can serve as a satellite unloading area. A portable steel dock is a fast, economical way to expand a dock area and increase freight handling capabilities without the expense of concrete work. A portable dock affords 90 degree turn ability for safe forklift maneuvering as well as trans-loading. Portable docks can also be easily relocated to other areas of a yard where a free-standing loading dock may be needed.

Worksheets created by our engineering department help ensure that your customer’s rail boards, yard ramps and portable steel docks will be the best solution for their specific application, making your job easier. If you would like to learn more about products that can help meet the material handling needs that will arise from this major freight railroad revitalization initiative, call 800.433.2212.

Bridging Gaps in the Recycling Industry

According to the United States Environmental Protection Agency, the U.S. recycles over 85 million tons of trash each year. In fact, Forbes magazine reported that in 2012, American communities on average spent more on waste management than any other public service, including fire protection, parks and recreation, libraries, and schoolbooks. In addition to trash handled in U.S. facilities, Forbes also reported that trash was America’s biggest export in 2012. As America strives to become a green nation while continuing to produce more waste each year, the recycling industry can only continue to grow.

What does all this garbage mean for sales of distribution and material handling equipment? All recycled trash that is handled and distributed requires equipment! At Bluff, we’ve found that our yard ramps, in particular, are highly sought after by recycling companies for their ease of mobility, strength and self-cleaning feature.

All recycled materials getting transported must go from ground level into different trucks at recycling plants, so mobility is crucial for the recycling industry’s ground-to-truck application. Bluff’s yard ramps have heavy-duty, solid rubber, pneumatic profile tires, which make positioning easy. In addition, our hydraulic system allows for a smooth and quick transition to changing trailer heights.

With standard capacities from 16,000 to 60,000 pounds, and higher capacities made to special order, Bluff’s yard ramps are ideal for the distribution of the lightest plastics to the heaviest scrap metal. Moreover, our serrated-grating, self-cleaning design also makes our yard ramps perfect for handling even the dirtiest of trash.

Adding a Portable Platform Can Save Time and Money

Attaching a portable steel platform to a yard ramp and positioning three trucks around the platform can give your recycling customers the ability to load multiple trucks at the same time without repositioning the yard ramp. This trans-loading process can save them valuable time and money.  Call 800.433.2212 to learn more about yard ramp and portable dock applications for your customers.