At AIFP, we offer an ever-expanding variety of product solutions for our clients. With seven specialized departments, we trade everything from cedar to steel to panels.
In this installment of the AIFP Department Spotlight series, we’re meeting the steel traders. Our traders tell us what an average day looks like for them, and the different joys and challenges of their jobs.
Specialized in black pipe, galvanized pipe, and steel coils, our steel traders work to build and maintain strong international supply relationships. This allows AIFP to provide the highest quality products at the best prices to our domestic partners.
Doug Rudolph has been importing steel since 1986 and brings his vast experience to AIFP’s Steel Import operation. Doug has reached
AIFP’s highest level of Sales Achievement four times and been awarded Forest City Trading Group’s Gold Circle level of trading excellence honors four times.
Doug starts his day by reviewing and evaluating all incoming offers from overseas mills. He then follows up with each customer to make sure they have an opportunity to decide which option best fits their needs.
When asked about the unique joys and challenges of steel trading, Doug says:
“With the longer lead times that come with overseas shipments, it’s extremely important to keep our customers updated on what is happening with their order.
Whether it’s the departure date from the overseas mill, arrival to the U.S. ports, or delivery to our customer’s final location, it’s critical we maintain regular communication on what is happening with each order placed with AIFP.”
“There are many challenges involved with an overseas order. I think that is why it always feels great when we have a customer tell us they received their order from AIFP and the quality and the service was “GREAT”!”
Drex Adams grew up in Anchorage, AK and joined the Steel Department at AIFP in 2015. Drex says that each day as a steel trader requires
a new approach to the market and the customers. Drex’s goal is to provide value to customers every day – whether that means making new offers, sharing market news and information, updating them on open orders, or more.
On the joys and challenges of steel trading, Drex says:
“Steel trading is very competitive and there are a lot of moving parts. It is important to understand each different part of our business, and how to best manage each individual aspect to create a seamless experience for the customer.”
“I love the variety in the steel trade. There are countless ways to build a business that is your own. Pursuing new products, travelling, and expanding customer relationships are just a few ways that we can grow the Steel Department and become the best suppliers possible.”
Whether you’re looking for industrial products for your mill or cedar for manufacturing, you can count on American International Forest Products to have the right solutions for your business. Learn more about the talent and expertise of our traders in our cedar traders feature or meet the team that makes up the largest trading floor in North America.
If you have questions about the products we trade or are interested in a business partnership, we want to hear from you; reach out to us.
Up for the challenge? We'll give you the tools to excel. AIFP is continually growing. We recruit new traders year-round.
There is no substitute for hard work. If you really want to make and run a business here, you have all the tools available to you here.Billy Culver Trader, European Products Department Head
I really enjoy the freedom to create your own customer base and build a business trading the products you want to trade. While being the hardest thing I have ever done, being a trader has also been the most rewarding!Alex Schilling Trader