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Straightline Selects Carolinas for Launch of Its Steel Distribution Business

Input From Steel Buyers in the Carolinas Plays Key Role in Defining Straightline's Offering

PRNewswire
CHARLESTON and COLUMBIA, S.C., and CHARLOTTE and GREENVILLE, N.C
10.31.2001

Following a successful four-month pilot program in the area, Straightline Source, a division of United States Steel LLC (NYSE: X), America's largest steel maker, today announced it is open for business statewide in North Carolina and South Carolina, and in Eastern Tennessee. These areas are the first in a series of regional rollouts slated to continue throughout the United States later this year and in 2002.

Straightline offers a direct buying option for processed steel products to companies of all sizes that do not typically buy directly from steel producers. Customers can receive instantaneous price quotations and place orders for a variety of carbon flat-roll steel products, 24 hours a day, seven days a week at http://www.straightline.com/, or by phone with knowledgeable customer account managers. Customers can choose to either configure processed products or select from a stock of finished goods. Straightline is able to reduce customers' total cost of material acquisition by offering consistently low pricing and a streamlined process that puts the customer in control.

The Carolinas were selected for Straightline's national launch based on the area's overall business opportunity. "We selected the Carolinas as our premier launch region because of the area's potential for economic growth and solid concentration of steel buyers," said Bob Dryburgh, president, Straightline.

"Our comprehensive pilot program allowed us to gain and incorporate valuable feedback from our pilot customers," said Mike Nauman, district manager for Straightline in the Carolinas. "This feedback was critical to us, since Straightline is a business that puts customers in control, giving them more choices and flexibility than the traditional steel-buying process." Straightline manages the entire customer relationship and in doing so takes responsibility for all aspects of the transaction, including order placement, steel sourcing, inventory management, delivery and claims. Furthermore, Straightline offers a simple, easy-to-use web interface, with no complicated technology to learn.

"Straightline has provided us with quality products, excellent customer service and on-time deliveries," said Rick Hilton, General Manager of Southeast Operations, McGill Airflow, one of Straightline's pilot customers. "I am really excited with the concept of internet access for obtaining quotes and orders that Straightline offers. It allows me to order locally, and my company's other branches to benefit nationally by use of the contract capabilities offered by Straightline." To date, McGill has ordered 227 tons of mostly galvanized steel from Straightline.

Straightline has assembled a network of local partners to hold inventory, perform custom processing and deliver finished goods. Processing partners have the opportunity to realize unique benefits by working with Straightline, as they increase utilization of their facilities without having to make additional investments in sales, marketing or inventory, thus improving their overall profitability. In the Carolinas, Straightline's processing partners include Feralloy in Huger, SC, SteelSummit in Greenville, SC and Thompson Steel in Fountain Inn, SC.

Initially, Straightline will specialize in carbon flat-roll steel, with plans to offer other materials based on customer demand. Through the remainder of the year, Straightline will expand regionally throughout the mid- South and mid-Atlantic, and will continue to expand its processor network.

Headquartered in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, Straightline Source is a division of United States Steel LLC. Straightline specializes in distributing carbon flat-roll steel, offering a variety of hot roll, cold roll and galvanized products to customers of all sizes. These products are available in slit coil, stock sheets and custom cut-to-length sheets. For more information, visit our website at http://www.straightline.com/.

Visit USX Corporation's web site at http://www.usx.com/. USX Corporation press releases are available through Company News On-Call at http://www.prnewswire.com/gh/cnoc/comp/929150.htm

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SOURCE: Straightline Source

Contact: Marian Dezelan, +1-412-433-7809, or MLDezelan@straightline.com,
or Judy Sapos, +1-412-433-7833, or JMSapos@straightline.com, both of
Straightline

Website: http://www.straightline.com/

Company News On-Call: http://www.prnewswire.com/comp/929150.html

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