The challenges facing the timber industry

Timber has been used in construction for thousands of years due to its inherent strength and beauty, and the timber industry is among the oldest in the world. Over recent years, the timber industry has faced many challenges that will need to be solved if we are to continue to benefit from timber’s key role in both structural applications and consumer products.

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The challenges facing the industry are widely reported and ones affecting different sectors of the industry include:

1. Timber Harvesting

There is a shortage of land where timber supplies can be provided by the development of forests, and felling trees in natural forests is environmentally unsustainable. Climate change has had a negative effect on the growth of some tree species used as a source of timber and a widespread lack of understanding of natural systems hinders good forest management and reduces supply.

2. Manufacturing and Distribution Sector

Intense competition exists in the wood processing industry, meaning margins can be very tight. However, consumer demand continues to be strong for products such as home furnishings, solid wood flooring and so on, which are supplied by many companies such as

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3. Transportation Sector

Tree plantations are often remote from the sawmill, meaning transportation is costly. A solution is locating the plantation close to a river with a sawmill downstream and floating the logs down the river. However this cannot be used for dense, high resin content logs and may damage habitats and vegetation along the river.