Source: Dr. Jean-Paul Rodrigue, 2008
Steel is a commodity that is used for a wide variety of purposes. On the above photo, rolls of steel wire are waiting in a general cargo warehouse (breakbulk) in the port of Halifax, Nova Scotia (Canada). They were manufactured by the Brazilian conglomerate Belgo Mineira, one of Latin America’s largest steel producer. Its main shareholder is the European conglomerate Arcelor Group (a merger of French, Spanish, and Luxembourg steel companies), which is the world’s largest steel producer. This shipment was purchased by the global tire manufacturer Michelin, which has three factories in Nova Scotia and is the province’s fourth largest employer. The wires will mainly be used to manufacture heavy machinery tires, which will then be shipped to Latin American assembly plants. Thus, in this case, warehousing involves European conglomerates supplying their North and Latin American supply chains.