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Straightline Launches Steel Distribution Business in Greater Chicago; Customers Gain Greater Control With a Mill-Direct Buying Experience

PRNewswire
CHICAGO
11.12.2001

Straightline Source, a division of United States Steel LLC (NYSE: X), America's largest integrated steel maker, today announced it is open for business in parts of Illinois, Indiana, Michigan and Wisconsin. These areas join Georgia, North Carolina and South Carolina, as well as portions of Florida and Tennessee to become premier operating regions for the new steel distribution business. A series of further regional rollouts is slated to continue throughout the United States 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.

Straightline's Chicago operations will serve customers in northern and central Illinois, northwestern Indiana, western Michigan and southern Wisconsin. Straightline selected the greater Chicago area as a primary operating region due to the area's solid concentration of steel buyers. "This region has agile and diverse manufacturing industries. A recent survey by the Manufacturers Alliance confirmed our feelings that a growth spurt is ahead for the Chicago area's manufacturing sector. We plan to make Straightline part of that growth," said Bob Dryburgh, president, Straightline.

"Straightline puts customers in control, giving them more choices and flexibility than they can experience with the traditional steel-buying process. We've built a strong knowledge base through our comprehensive pilot program and our operations in the southeast," said Jeff Algrem, district manager for Straightline in Chicago. "Customer feedback has been critical to us -- and has helped us build a business that is changing the way companies buy steel."

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.

"The concept of purchasing steel on line is interesting, easy and saves me time," said Jerome Sherwin, assistant buyer with Alkco Lighting in Franklin Park, IL. "My experience with Straightline has been great. The people are easy to deal with and very responsive to my needs."

Straightline has assembled a network of local partners to hold inventory, perform custom processing and deliver finished goods. Processing partners are selected based on rigorous criteria, including ISO certification. The resulting network of processors has 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.

Initially, Straightline will specialize in distributing carbon flat-roll steel, with plans to offer other materials based on customer demand. In 2002, Straightline will expand regionally throughout the country, 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.html.

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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 Source

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

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

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