Through research and development and a commitment to customer satisfaction, North Coast Container produces stronger, lighter, and better 55-gallon drums to hold both non-hazardous and hazardous materials.
You’ve seen it before in movies and TV shows: big steel drums storing hazardous materials that often give away the bad guys and their evil lair. These depictions from the entertainment industry—leaking, corroded drums, storing liquids for far too long—have led to a fundamental misunderstanding of the product. North Coast Container is focused on educating the industry, and continuing its research into the best materials, processes, and finished products for its customers.
There are several reasons why steel drums are the most widely used industrial package in the world. Drums are one of the lowest cost means of transporting products, and 55-gallon steel drums are the most versatile and reliable industrial packaging solutions in the world. This is because of steel’s unique quality as a sustainable and renewable resource; steel is the most recycled material on the planet because of its permanent nature.
North Coast Container’s 55-gallon American-made steel drums ensure that products get to their destination safely and securely with the highest quality packaging in the industry. The company’s drums transport substances of all kinds, hazardous and not, between producers and manufacturers to help ensure the highest degree of safety along the way.
Through North Coast Container’s customization options, unique delivery service, expanded production capabilities, and innovative designs, the company is bringing products to market unlike the other players in the industry.
Customization for the Customer
North Coast Container understands that each company’s needs for storage or transportation are different. That is why no standard drum ever comes off of the production lines at their facilities. Each batch of drums are custom ordered and produced.
“The only similarity between drums is that they are all made of metal and are designed to ship products,” shared Andrew Deutsch, the company’s Vice President of Business Development and Marketing.
“We have two basic models—an open head drum and a tight head drum—but everything else about the product varies depending on a customer’s unique specifications and requirements.”
From color to linings and coatings, North Coast Container could go through multiple variations, sometimes more than 50 in a single day. Today, the carefully-planned transitions between each version of steel drum is a seamless process on the shop floor to make sure no mistakes are made in between drum batches.
To make sure these processes remain seamless, North Coast Container has strong, supportive relationships with the lining and paint suppliers. The paint on the outside of these drums is often water-based enamels, provided by companies with which North Coast Container has strong relationships. This paint maintains the integrity of the drum from the outside, helping the owners of the storage product avoid corrosion and rust.
The inside chemical linings are imperative for preventing leaking of the materials from inside the drum, especially important if they are hazardous or corrosive to raw metal. Other, non-hazardous materials, both liquid and solid, are shipped in North Coast Container’s steel drums as well.
The company does not make any recommendations on which lining may be required for their customers based on regulations, but NCC does provide options for the customer to learn what would work best for their product.
“We offer accelerated testing through our lining suppliers on linings for customers so they can determine the right fit for their products and needs,” Deutsch said. “Certain industries are heavily regulated determining how they can ship goods by land or sea, and it’s up to the customer to make sure they understand the regulations. But North Coast Container is there to simplify the decision process when it comes to customizing their drums.”
Controlling Its Shipping Destiny
Although it’s unusual for manufacturers to also be their own shipping company, North Coast Container found it to be a necessity.
“There are horror stories in this industry of manufacturers employing trucking companies whose employees don’t carry the same demeanor and customer service as the companies they are delivering for,” said Deutsch. “We discovered that the only way we could guarantee delivery when our customers needed a project was to do the deliveries ourselves.”
The decision to found STC Transportation was reached years ago when North Coast Container was focused on building the reputation of the company. Although the company sometimes does employ outside delivery organizations depending on the situation, a majority of North Coast Container’s goods are delivered by their in-house transportation division.
The cost of downtime at a site for customers is often exorbitant when they don’t have drums to fill with their products, so guaranteeing delivery to a customer can win you a client for life. The company discovered the benefits almost instantly through this new endeavor.
By training its newly-hired delivery employees how to deliver steel drum shipments, the amount of damaged freight decreased immensely. Having the control over all steps in the process created less stressful processes and happier clients.
Amping Up Production
Until the beginning of July, North Coast Container was operating with one long production shift. With this approach, the company was able to produce thousands of drums a day. July 5th introduced two full production shifts, effectively increasing the amount of product to meet the continually growing demand from new and existing customers.
“The addition of another production shift was necessary to keep up with the demand of our customers,” Deutsch shared. “We’re already moving towards the cap of our current capacity, even with the expanded production schedule. There’s a possibility we’ll go back to six days a week with two shifts every day to meet demand. It’s a good problem to have.”
Steel That’s Lighter and Stronger
North Coast Container uniquely work-hardens each of its containers through expansion to allow lighter material to be used to achieve the same high performance of heavier gauge drums.
This is an important piece of North Coast Container’s strategy, and one of the bigger reasons the company is ahead of its competition.
“Steel drums have to pass a drop test, where they are dropped from x-meters above the ground and expected to maintain their integrity. If they don’t pass this test, most manufacturers would make the metal thicker.
“Instead we can say to the client ‘What if we can make your container with thinner metals and still make it meet your requirements?’ All of the pieces of these drums, including the rings, are all designed for them to be produced with less metal.”
There’s already so much that sets North Coast Container apart from its competitors. But Deutsch believes that being an independently owned company free from stockholders is one of the principal ways the company can delight customers.
“We’re not performing for stockholders, we’re performing for customers. Every decision we make is based on customer needs. It makes a tremendous difference in how we run our company in this industry.”
Over the past 30-plus years, we’ve built our reputation on quality, reliability and constant product innovation. We don’t just meet national and international quality expectations—we exceed them.
Our 55-gallon drums are American-made throughout our production processes and most of the materials we use. We work-harden each of our containers through expansion allowing lighter gauge material to be used to achieve the same high performance of heavier gauge drums, saving you money, while maintaining exceptional quality.