Company Profile: Samuel, Son & Co., Limited

A company with long history as metals processor and distributor serves diverse needs of wind energy industry.


Samuel, Son & Co., Limited is a 5th generation, family run metals processor, distributor, and metal manufacturing company. Samuel is also the largest privately held service center in North America. Based in Mississauga, Ontario, Canada, the company has a long history of selling and purchasing metal throughout North America and around the world.

Founded in 1855 as a trading company between England and Canada, Samuel is a fifth generation, 100 percent privately owned, family run company with anticipated sales of $3.3 billion this year. Samuel has 108 locations in Canada, the United States, Mexico, Australia, China and the United Kingdom; the company is positioned in key areas where customer demand exists.

Their United States head office is located in Lancaster, New York, and the company boasts 4,800 employees who serve customers through its metal service centers and manufacturing divisions, providing products and processing to market leaders. The company also invested $605 million in capital improvements and acquisitions during the past five years, while processing more than 3.8 million tons of metal.

“Last year we purchased more than 2.6 million tons of metal from companies like U.S. Steel, Arcelor Mittal, Aleris, and Thyssen Krupp,” said Bill Hutton, Corporate Vice President of Marketing and National Accounts for Samuel. “We take that metal and sell to our customers or process it by adding value by slitting it, cutting it to length, or flame cutting into different shapes and sizes that could be used in various end use markets. Our customers then use our product to make their own product.”

Hutton says forming a division catering to the wind industry with the Samuel Wind Energy brand was a natural progression for this diverse company.

“We looked at the wind industry and it looked to be a promising segment financially,” he said. “Wind seemed to be one of the most interesting to Samuel because of our product offering and we thought the wind energy market could be sustained for the next 10 to 15 years. Wind energy caught on better than solar, and right now, our carbon flat roll steel, carbon plate, all forms of stainless steel and aluminum fit that market segment extremely well.”

Samuel Wind Energy started in 2010 and is headed by Jennifer Bonner who extensively researched the market and made a case for Samuel’s investment in this industry. “We have a lot of wind energy business that we do directly or indirectly for businesses.”

Samuel Wind Energy specializes in value added processing for the Wind Energy market. They supply Carbon Plate, Carbon Flat Rolled, Aluminum, and Stainless Steel products for the wind industry.

“The big product for Samuel Wind Energy is the embedment rings,” Hutton said. “When the tower is going into the ground to be secured, we manufacture that round piece of metal plate with holes in it and beveled to the customer’s exact specifications. If everything doesn’t line up, you can’t raise the tower. We spent alot of time researching this particular product.”

Unalloy a division within the Samuel Group, supplies wire, ropes, chains and other rigging products used during tower erection. This shows the Wind Energy market the diversification that Samuel can offer this market.

“Many people don’t even know Samuel is in the Wind Tower business, because our name isn’t stamped on the turbine, but we are there in many ways,” he said.

Hutton says Samuels’ vision is to add value for customers, and he believes it’s a successful formula that has maintained growth and stability for 157 years, while other service centers were struggling through economic downturns.

“Anybody can supply a piece of metal or a piece of plate, but there is some technical knowledge to making products such as embedment rings, and not everybody can do that,” he said.

As an example, Hutton says a company in the wind tower business traditionally will buy a thousand tons of metal from a producing mill. The mill produces and ships the order to the customer who then stores the shipment in their yard until the steel is needed in the manufacturing process.

“By using Samuel you don’t have to marshal around the metal in the yard while it sits. The beauty of Samuel is that we can buy material competitively because of our buying power. We don’t have to buy a thousand tons at a time because we buy millions of tons a year. We bring it in when we need it; get it cut, and ready for our customer. Our customers only pay for a truckload of steel at a time, which could be 20 tons to 40 tons, but not a thousand. Our customers are getting the product cut to size and it is ready to use when we deliver it to them, freeing up their processing equipment to concentrate on their own core competencies.”

In this business model, Hutton says cash flow, logistics and efficiencies improve for the customer, providing the value-added service Samuel is committed to delivering day in and day out. 

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