Old World Meets e-World

e-Marketplace Steel24-7, joint venture of major Euro steel producers, launches

Brussels  February 12, 2002  Steel24-7, Europe's largest online steel trading exchange, went live today, supporting the online sale and other transactions of Europe's leading steel manufacturers.

The e-marketplace's founders  Arbed/Aceralia, Corus, ThyssenKrupp Steel and Usinor  announced Steel24-7, in December, but the venture only recently won approval from European regulatory authorities.

The marketplace is based on a trading platform from software provider Asera. Asera Platform allows Steel24-7 to provide its customers with a single, secure place on the Web where they can ask for quotes from one or all of the member organizations, configure and place orders, view specifications of materials, and track and trace orders from any of the manufacturers throughout an order's lifecycle.

Steel24-7 is currently working with Asera on a phase-two rollout of further functionality and integration between the member organizations.

The new organization, though initially concentrating on its European rollout, intends to expand globally offering multi-lingual functionality. The trading platform is currently accessible in five languages.

The founding partners of Steel24-7, incorporating Europe's leading steel manufacturers, formed the new company with the goals of supporting their collective performance and reducing the cost and time for critical business processes.

David Murphy, president and CEO of Asera, noted that the new exchange is launching at a time when some other e-marketplaces are withering in the face of poor adoption. "While many B2B exchanges are struggling for survival, Asera sees Steel24-7 poised for market leadership," Murphy said optimistically.

That optimism might not be misplaced, given the size of the new exchange's founding partners. The founders produce a combined annual output of over 80 million tons of crude steel.