About J. Soares Correia – Armazéns de Ferro
The first J. Soares Correia’s warehouse was situated in Vila Nova de Gaia, in the ground floor of the House where lived the family that founded the company in the year, already distant, of 1907.
Family structure, passed through the inherent changes in a century of existence, in which traveled a path that led her modest eighth place he held sales of iron in the North of the country, in the middle of the century, until a market leadership position, which keeps for about a decade.
After the inevitable dispersion of capital, own a family organization that was in the fourth generation, the Correia Santos acquired, in 1998, the entire capital to other heirs and concentrated targets of company earned, so a new generation of entrepreneurs.
The first warehouse was supported by a small administrative and commercial structure, with about seven employees, suitable to a market little developed, in which all the iron was imported, notably from France, Germany and Belgium, until the creation of the Siderurgia Nacional, in 1960, that changed this panorama.
In that time, the building consumed a small amounts of iron and still this material headed for rural consumption, as were the rims for the wheels of cars of oxen, to the bucket of daughters-in-law or to the bicas who collected resin in pine groves. It is curious that it was also in oxcarts that made the iron for the first shipping warehouses of the company: Once downloaded, the barges, the quay of Gaia, were these vehicles which ensured the steep climb up to Rua Soares dos Reis.
The distribution of iron has been, for much of the 20th century, made by rail, to the interior of the country, to the acquisition of the first car, an Opel Blitz, which the current owner still recalls. Signs of a long-distant future in which the human arm accounted for virtually all tasks and that changed with the introduction of suitable equipment, as the first overhead crane at the end of 60 years, which has proved so effective that was followed by a series of others that have contributed to the development of the company and the significant improvement of working conditions.
In 1987 the company already had a market position that had led to its listing on the stock exchange, following an IPO of 25% of the capital. The market for steel products is today dominated by J. Soares Correia – Armazéns de Ferro, S.A., which has expanded its business through the acquisition of companies in the same area of operation, particularly “M. Cardoso», «José Pinto Magalhães» (in 1987), «FerroBeiras» and «Transferro» (in 1990).
A strategy of gradual expansion and national coverage, has created structures in guard, Palmela, Maia and Vila Real. The year 2000, year of the centralization of the headquarters and main warehouse in Maia, was striking in this evolution. Today, the companies of the group, certified in ISO 9001: 2003, by 2000, generating 100,000 m2 of area occupied by facilities, a fleet of 30 heavy vehicles and an evolved technology, information systems, in particular in the areas of handling and lifting of loads and the cutting line. There are already about twenty years ago, said the company had sold enough iron to build, not one, but many Eiffel Towers.
Now, this centenary, in the form of a tribute to J. Soares Correia, we can say that these landscapes of iron bridges, and many others, might as well have come out of the company’s warehouses, such is the amount of iron ever sold to date.