The activity of the Macsteel Group is best defined by the company’s mission statement:
"To be the most dynamic and respected international service provider, linking producers and consumers of steel and similar commodities, by providing efficient and reliable communication and supply lines via marketing, shipping, logistics, finance and e-commerce solutions."
Approximately 7,000 personnel combine to form what is Macsteel today, operating globally in 26 countries and in over 60 offices to achieve annual sales of steel and related products exceeding $3.5 billion.
Summarised, the Macsteel Group's activities comprise the following volumes on an annual basis:
- Macsteel Service Centres - 3.2 million tonnes
- Macsteel International Trading - 5.2 million tonnes
- MUR Shipping - 22.0 million tonnes
- Iron Ore Supplies - 9.7 million tonnes
The Macsteel Service Centres enjoy a predominant position in South Africa with sales exceeding one million tonnes per annum and constitutes one of the leading steel stockholding and distribution companies in the US, with annual sales approaching two million tonnes.
The Macsteel International organisation came into existence on 1 January 1997, resulting from a joint venture agreement between the Macsteel Group and Iscor Ltd of South Africa.
This joint venture combined all of the international steel trading activities of Iscor Ltd and the Macsteel Group (excluding the Macsteel service centre operations) and is registered in Holland under the name of Macsteel International B.V.
Iscor Ltd requires little introduction. Founded in 1928 as the South African Iron and Steel Industrial Corporation Limited, Iscor is today the largest iron and steel producer on the African continent with a combined crude capacity of seven million tonnes per year from its four steelworks, namely:
- Saldanha Iron & Steel
These and all other ex-Iscor steel products are exported exclusively through the Macsteel International joint venture. This international marketing activity has traditionally covered as many as 80 countries around the world.
In addition, Macsteel International supplies the full range of carbon steel products from all corners of the globe, providing its customers with a full package of financial and logistical services.
In other markets than those listed above, Macsteel International works through a network of long established agents.
In MUR Shipping A.G., a subsidiary of Macsteel International B.V., Macsteel has a powerful “in-house” shipping organisation.
MUR was formed in 1994 to meet the increasing shipping requirements for international trade of their shareholders, whilst at the same time offering their expertise and resources to other South African and worldwide shippers alike, by providing more shipping opportunities to more destinations.
MUR is based in South Africa and operates vessels on a global scale.
Recent fixtures include fertilisers from Qatar to the US and various African Ports, steel from St Petersburg to South America, pipes from South America to China, cokes from China to various destinations and iron ore from Saldanha Bay to China.
Time charter, voyage fixtures, space sharing, cargo and vessel sub-letting, and communicating with a multitude of ship and cargo brokers around the globe are all part of MUR’s daily activities.
MUR employs at any one time between 90 and 120 vessels on trip time charter and between 60 and 80 vessels on period time charter, ranging from 17,000mt dwt mpp tweendeckers and superhandymax 50.000mt dwt to capesize bulkcarriers.
All in all, MUR performs in the region of 450 voyages annually, excluding cargoes releted to third party owners/liner operators.