THE RACE to stake out online territory in the steel industry is hotting up with the launch of an internet sourcing service, just weeks after Corus and some of Europe’s other biggest players outlined their own plans.
Sellbuysteel.com is an online database of steel producers, stockists, traders and users which aims to allow buyers to source their supplies more widely and enjoy access to the best prices.
The new site does not carry out any transactions – after putting buyers and sellers in touch with each other it plays no further part. According to chief executive John West, this means Sellbuysteel.com avoids many of the security concerns that affect sites where money changes hands. In addition, by being accessible through a standard web browser, users do not have to operate any special IT system to make use of the site.
Sellbuysteel.com is stressing its independence. It said there are no steel producers holding an equity stake in the business.
Its launch comes after Corus, Thyssenkrupp Steel, Arbed and Usinor – together boasting more than 80 million tonnes of crude steel production – said they were planning two joint e-business ventures, one for sales and a second for procurement.
The partners aim to have the e-sales platform, Steel24-7.com, operating by the end of the year. The procurement site – called BuyForMetals.com – is expected to be running by early 2001.
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