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The Gig Economy and OTR Freight in the Metals Sector

Editor’s Note: Every week Diamond Brite Metals, LLC, the country’s most comprehensive architectural and commercial metals polishing center, will be providing in-depth market analysis about the metals supply chain.

It is undeniable that the metals supply chain has undergone a seismic transformation in the past couple of years. The introduction of Section 232, the pivot towards value-added services and the heavy consolidation in the service center industry have created an unfamiliar landscape for metals professionals. Against a backdrop of volatility and shifting geopolitical winds, these metals professionals must continue to steer their organizations to increased revenues and profits. With increased competition, service centers and toll processors must search for creative and sometimes unorthodox ways to cut costs. Freight has become a pliable cost to increase profit margins.

Conventionally, toll processors are limited by the geographic markets they serve. For example, tolls processors in the Midwest draw heavy revenues from the dairy market while toll processors on the West Coast are dependent on the food and beverage markets. Unless the toll processor has access to a vast trucking network, freight costs close other geographical markets. This remains true in the metals polishing industry where increased freight cost may add unreasonable, additional costs to both transactional and project based work. Diamond Brite Metals enjoys the distinct advantage of servicing the major metropolitan markets of New York City and Philadelphia. To open additional markets across the country, Diamond Brite Metals has devised creative ways to secure low cost, over the road freight for its Midwest and Southeastern customers.

Wanting to save end-use customers additional cost, in 2019, Diamond Brite Metals began to leverage the burgeoning “gig economy” of over the road, industrial freight. The proliferation of Uber and Lyft, as well as a host of other “gig economy” markets, has disrupted conventional, established markets. The over the road, industrial freight market is not immune from upstart companies looking to secure market share. These new companies, such as Uber Freight and Doft, match shippers with independent, over the road drivers. Shippers can set pricing parameters that filter certain drivers and geographic routes. Uber Freight and Doft give low cost freight providers with access to the industrial, over the road freight market. In other words, these companies, relying on “gig economy” principles, have opened new markets not only to freight providers but also toll processors.

The increase of large-scale construction projects in metropolitans across the United States has led to a heightened demand for architectural and commercial metals polishing. Diamond Brite Metals, the country’s architectural metals polishing leader, has found new ways to save end-use customers additional freight costs. This allows Diamond Brite Metals to access different geographical markets. For example, in 2019, Diamond Brite Metals was able to contract with a independent driver through Doft to provide a Midwest customer with low cost freight on an architectural metals project.

Diamond Brite Metals’ mission is “To provide the highest quality finishing services for both the architectural and commercial markets.” This not only includes providing a superior finished project, but also in devising creative solutions to save Diamond Brite Metals’ customers money.

We welcome any and all architectural and commercial metals polishing inquiries. For general polishing inquiries, please contact our Sales Desk at For architectural metals polishing inquiries, please contact



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