Global Fastener News

2005 FIN – Fragmentary News Coming in from Fastener Companies in Path of Hurricane Katrina

April 29
00:00 2015

September 8, 2005 FIN – Phones in Hurricane Katrinas path went unanswered as the fastener industry awaits information on colleagues, customers and suppliers.

“The only thing I have heard so far is that all the employees of House of Threads got out and are all right,’ said Kathy Malkemes of Associated Fastener Group, a rep agency based in the Dallas area. She hasn’t heard about two other customer companies.
“I am having big problems getting material shipped out of Baton Rouge,’” Malkemes told FIN. One supplier doesnt have phone service ”but I am able to fax orders to a location in Mobile and he has a satellite of some sort that is able to send the orders over to Baton Rouge for them to be shipped out.’”
•  Mary Chambers of Texas-based stocking rep agency Assembly Products & Sales was able to get a quote from a Fastenal store in Houma, LA, but “tried without success to call the companies in Baton Rouge last week. I suspect that many of them in New Orleans are out of business.”’
•  Georgia Foley, executive director of the Specialty Tools & Fasteners Distributors Association, has talked to former STAFDA president Marc Beerman by cell phone. Beerman Precision is ”only blocks away from the Superdome.  I’ve also heard from Charlie Steele in Baton Rouge. I’ve tried reaching other members in the area but no luck so far.”
‘•  Paul Houston of Construction Bolts Inc. in Monroe, LA – which is more than a four-hour drive north from New Orleans – reported no problems with customers or suppliers and not even rain. ”There are some glitches with UPS’ and people [displaced by the hurricane] have been coming up,”’ Houston noted.
•  Fastenal lost at least 10 stores to Hurricane Katrina, CEO Will Oberton announced. Oberton said that figure is probably closer to 15, with ”extensive damage in many more locations.”’ The company has not been able to reach all of its employees due to widespread communication loss in the Gulf Coast region.
Oberton said Fastenal is conducting relief operations in the area, providing vehicles and temporary housing for employees that have lost these essentials.’
Fastenal has set up a relief fund for employees. The company is accepting monetary donations that it intends to match, up to $50,000.
Oberton also announced Fastenal will be setting up strategic points near devastated areas for distribution of products to help with the recovery and rebuilding efforts.
• W.W. Grainger pledged more than $1 million in cash and emergency supplies to the Red Cross Disaster Relief Fund. Grainger is also providing four-to-one matching of employee gifts.
Grainger been in Louisiana for more than 60 years from its branch location in New Orleans and today operates seven branches in the state.
•  UPS is recommending shippers contact consignees in the gulf region to determine if they are receiving deliveries.
UPS services are delayed or suspended in the affected areas.
In ZIP Codes where authorities have restricted access as a result of storm damage and flooding service will be inaccessible for an extended time.’ Check for current shipping limitations.
•  The U.S. Postal Service has stopped accepting Express mail, standard mail or periodicals for delivery to certain Gulf Coast areas. For up-to-date reports on service to specific ZIP Codes in the storm-damaged areas, go to and click on the Hurricane Katrina Service Updates’ button on the right side of the home page.
•  The London Metal Exchange suspended trading in zinc stored in New Orleans, which accounts for about a quarter of the worlds stockpiles.
The benchmark three-month price for zinc, which is mainly used for the prevention of corrosion on steel products, jumped to an eight-year high of $1,454 a ton.
After some of the 20 New Orleans warehouses reported zinc had not been damaged prices began falling.
•  Holden Lewis of BB&T Capital Markets, who also publishes Industrial Equipment Weekly, predicted the hurricane is expected to affect many distributors near term’ including Fastenal, Grainger and Applied Industrial.
“Immediate effects aside, we believe all will likely play a role in rebuilding. We believe the greatest beneficiary, however, is Lincoln Electric, which will sell high-margin engine-drive welders immediately, and then is expected to have significant stake in rebuilding the oil/gas infrastructure. Regal-Beloit should also see some benefit in its generator segment.”  ©2005/2015 Fastener Industry News.
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