Metal Portal

How a recycling business in Roseville offset a steep drop in global commodity prices.


>>  team alloy GLR Advanced Recycling partners Michael Bassirpour, Ilene Bischer, and Sandy Rosen at the company’s 15-acre facility in Livonia.

When prices for copper, aluminum, iron ore, and other commodities began to fall in 2013 due to a slowdown in demand from China and developing countries, Michael Bassirpour saw an opportunity to inject technology into a historically stoic industry.

A partner and president of GLR Advanced Recycling in Roseville, Bassirpour says with falling prices for commodities contributing to the closing of hundreds of scrap metal shops in recent years, he and his three partners — Sandy Rosen, Ilene Bischer, and Ben Rosen — had to adapt or risk the same fate.

“I was working on a Saturday in 2013, and we (were selling) these lead counterweights that are used on the back of forklifts, and I thought, What if we had people bid on them over a digital portal?” Bassirpour says. “So I ran the idea by Sandy and, the next thing you know, we built and introduced”

 >> above the rim Michael Bassirpour of GLR Advanced Recycling in Roseville developed The to move scrap metal via a digital portal. 

Today, with more than 1,500 subscribers across the globe, the online network allows buyers and sellers of scrap metals to access or move inventory much more quickly than they can by depending on the daily fax report commonly used in the industry. “All the fax report provides is the metal offered for sale, the suggested price, a company name and location, and a contact person with a telephone number,” Bassirpour says. “Can you imagine a service like that … that doesn’t include an email?”

GLR’s online store has one drawback. Because some metal offerings are so heavy, transportation costs between states and countries can be prohibitive. Overall, though, Bassirpour says has helped industry players move their metals faster, especially when prices are volatile. This year, the site is on pace to record $5 million in revenue, up from nearly $1 million in 2015.

Overall, the shakeout of smaller players caused by falling commodity prices has helped streamline the marketplace. Apart from streamlining the acquisition and sale of commodities with its digital portal, Bassirpour says GLR, which has 150 employees, is building a more efficient operation in the region by establishing what he calls “feeder yards” that supply inventory to the company’s main recycling facility in Livonia.

“We just opened a feeder yard in Port Huron, and we receive metal from Roseville and Ann Arbor. We’re looking to add two more yards in the coming months,” he says. “We plan to add another 50 employees and keep everything within a 60-mile radius of southeast Michigan.”

The company also operates an electronics recycling facility in Oak Park, and has locations in Northville Township, Flint, and New York that can handle metals and used paper, cardboard, or plastics. “We had to pivot our business model and take advantage of technology efficiencies,” Bassirpour says. “We couldn’t keep doing things the old way.” 

Edit Module
Edit Module Edit Module
Edit ModuleShow Tags

Related Articles

Community Business

Eyes Up

Avantius Group in Birmingham invests in proven health supplements.

Spread Order

Sign Up

Bringing content for the deaf and hard-of-hearing to a global audience.

Snow Much Fun

The spirit of the holidays is aglow at a Bloomfield Hills business all year long.
Edit ModuleShow Tags

Most Popular

  1. Dearborn’s Ford Motor Co. to Host Winter Festival at Michigan Central Station
    Ford Motor Co. in Dearborn will host a 10-day Winter Festival in front of its recently purchased...
  2. The Historic Sherbrooke in Detroit’s Midtown Being Converted into 14 Condominiums
    Detroit’s Midtown district will see the conversion of a historic residential building, The...
  3. Madison Heights’ Greater Detroit Chapter of the Association of Fundraising Professionals Names 2019 Board Officers, Directors
    Madison Heights’ Greater Detroit Chapter of the Association of Fundraising Professionals (AFP)...
  4. Oliver Thomas in Birmingham Wins Lawsuit Over Diamond Quilted Handbags
    Oliver Thomas in Birmingham, which in 2017 launched a line of handbags and accessories, has...
  5. United Shore in Pontiac Announces Record Year in 2018, Plans to Fill More Than 800 Jobs
    Following a record-breaking year of mortgage loan production in 2018, United Shore in Pontiac...
  6. Allegiant to Base Aircraft at Gerald Ford Airport in Grand Rapids, Create 66 New Jobs
    Allegiant Travel Co. announced on Tuesday that it plans to establish a two-aircraft base of...