Sukup Manufacturing Co. to build depot at Manly Terminal
SHEFFIELD, Iowa – Sukup Manufacturing Co. will build a 120-by-300-foot Sukup Steel Building at Manly Terminal to help reduce steel shipping costs.
The building will serve as a steel coil transfer station. Coils of steel from mills in Indiana, Pennsylvania and Mississippi will be shipped in by rail and stored in the new building before being loaded onto trucks and taken to Sukup Manufacturing facilities in Sheffield.
The depot will significantly reduce the company’s cost of trucking in steel, said Steve Sukup, chief financial officer of Sukup Manufacturing. Most of the coil steel the company uses is shipped by rail to the Twin Cities and then trucked to Sheffield.
The new building will be equipped with two cranes and will serve as a model for other North Iowa and Southern Minnesota companies that could take advantage of a new rail loop being built at Manly Terminal, which is just north of Manly, Iowa.
The roughly mile-long loop will have plenty of adjacent sites for similar transfer stations, said Dan Sabin, owner and president of Iowa Northern Railway Company. Iowa Northern is a partner in Manly Terminal, which provides rail-to-truck and truck-to-rail service for a variety of alternative energy products and commodities.
“There is a definite cost savings by going this route with rail,” Sukup said, by reducing the amount of coil transportation by company-owned trucks and contract carriers. Manly Terminal is about 30 miles directly north of Sheffield.
“It’s going to save money across all facets of transporting our coil,” said Andy Schmitt, supply chain manager for Sukup Manufacturing. Iowa Northern Railway has more clout than individual manufacturers in negotiating transportation costs with large rail carriers such as Union Pacific and Canadian Pacific, which will help reduce costs, Sukup and Schmitt said. Iowa Northern is a short-line railroad based in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, and runs between there and Manly. It contracts with the larger carriers as needed to transport goods and materials.
Sabin said he hopes other businesses will follow Sukup’s lead in building a transfer station. “We think having the Sukups here is like a flagship,” Sabin said. The company is so well-known and respected throughout the region that leaders of other manufacturers are likely to take a hard look at how a similar setup could save them a lot of money on transportation, Sabin said.
Sukup said work on the building will begin this fall. It will be designed and manufactured by Sukup Steel Buildings, a division of Sukup Manufacturing that was launched in 2011 and offers custom-designed agricultural and commercial buildings.
The company has seen its coil steel usage increase sharply in the past 15 years for use in the manufacturing of farm and commercial grain bins, grain dryers, and material handling systems such as elevators and conveyors.
Schmitt said the building will be oversized to accommodate future growth, and for potential use by other businesses that might be interested in transferring goods into and/or out of Manly Terminal.
The building is expected to be ready for use in late 2013 or early 2014, Sukup said.
Sukup Manufacturing is a family-owned business that has been engineering solutions for agricultural producers since 1963.
Sukup is the fastest-growing bin manufacturer in the world. Its product line includes farm and commercial grain bins, portable and tower dryers, centrifugal and axial fans and heaters, stirring machines, bin unloading equipment and bin floors and supports.
Sukup also makes a line of material handling equipment that includes bucket elevators, drag conveyors and chain loop conveyors. Sukup products are sold throughout the U.S. and Canada, as well as in more than 50 other countries.