NACOGDOCHES, TX (KTRE) - A Nacogdoches manufacturer of live poultry transport devices is undergoing an unexpected supply crunch on materials.
Bright coops are made from U.S.A. steel and aluminum.
The anticipated tariffs on imported metals are still creating a shift in domestic supplies.
Welders work efficiently and fast at Bright Coop Inc. Put steel in front of the skilled workers, or a robotic welder, and a Bright coop will be made.
The concern is a shortage of the USA-made metals they work with on a day to day basis. This steelyard is usually full, but purchasing agent Lisa Haygood says supplies dropped off when talk of tariffs on imported metals began.
"We've really seen some the materials harder to come by," Hagood said. "It seems like everybody is in somewhat of a panic."
Bright Coop President Clem Russell understands the objectives behind the tariffs but knows other manufacturers accustomed to buying imported products will turn to his domestic suppliers in order to avoid tariffs.
"U.S. steel mills may not be able to meet the demand," Russell said.
An aluminum door closes hard on a Bright coop. It's headed to clients like Pilgrim's Pride and Sanderson Farms that place large orders at the first of the fiscal year. It's difficult changing supply orders or locking in prices in mid-stream.
Sometimes, a deal is closed.
"We did just this week, matter of fact, lock in aluminum at a set price," Russell said. "It's already costing us $10 per cage more for aluminum which sounds insignificant, but when you're building seven to eight thousand cages that's a significant increase for one item."
Most of the time, you can see them piled up here at the corner of Wells and Seale. The company wants to keep it that way even if it means buying foreign-made supplies.
"We have to supply our customers, so we would be forced to take what we can get, where we can get it," Russell said.
Bright Coop Incorporated routinely gives discounts to buyers with large orders and has never renegotiated contracts.
Company leaders are researching what they must do in order to continue the service customers are used to receiving.