Mill closure will have ripple effect on local suppliers - WAFF-TV: News, Weather and Sports for Huntsville, AL

Mill closure will have ripple effect on local suppliers

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Arab Cartage has been in business with the paper mill for decades. Arab Cartage has been in business with the paper mill for decades.
ARAB, AL (WAFF) -

Companies that serviced the International Paper mill in Lawrence County will have to adjust following the mill's Wednesday's closure announcement.

Although they are 60 miles away from the mill, the Arab Cartage trucking company is bracing for the hit they expect to take as International Paper looks to shut down its Courtland mill.

Company officials said they began a relationship with the mill decades ago when it was owned by Champion and Arab Cartage was a young, growing company. That relationship has grown over the years and so, too, has the amount of business done between them.

With Wednesday's announcement, that means a drastic reduction of business for Arab Cartage. "They're giving us 70, 80 loads of freight a week," said Operations Manager Ben Elrod. "We've worked with some of the same people over there for years. It's going to be a hard void to fill."

Elrod said the ideal situation would be for International Paper to be able to sell the plant to another paper company. If not, he said they will seek new business to fill those delivery spots.

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