Where your Tropical Lumber is Dried is Important

When it comes to using tropical hardwood lumber in products, manufacturers in the United States are quite demanding in regards to moisture content levels.  Most regions of the world work with 8-10% or 10-12% moisture levels. However, in the United States most of our customers request tropical lumber dried to a 6-8% moisture content.  That means the drying process is very important because to achieve such levels takes a great deal of time, expertise and skill.

import shed 270x165Over the last few years we have seen an increase in companies importing tropical species from Africa as kiln dried due to the extensive lead times it takes for African suppliers to harvest, saw, process and ship lumber to the States.  For example, we are seeing offers today in April for kiln dried lumber arrivals for October or November shipment from Africa.  You can imagine the difficulties that would arise trying to have to deal with a lumber supply that is that far out.  Furthermore, it is not uncommon to experience additional delays for numerous reasons from African suppliers which can add several additional months to this timeline!

KD supply from Africa is in high demand from other importers who prefer to buy it this way, so timing also becomes an issue here.

Our Air Dried inventory allow us almost always have a balanced inventory of KD product to offer, there were some delays in Africa in early 2017 on our end, so we have just about worked down our air dried inventory to nothing, but the good news is that full container loads are headed our way now, so we will get caught up really quick and it will continue with business as usual for our KD inventory that we have to offer.

When It comes to tropical lumber, we prefer to import air dried lumber whenever possible, (we do import kiln dried lumber occasionally but that is not the norm).  We are fortunate to have a concentration yard in Cove City, North Carolina which is it is strategically located right in the middle of the East Coast.  It is I an excellent proximity to many of the major shipping ports and provides easy access to main highways for trucking throughout the United States and Canada.

Our Cove City, North Carolina facility has close to 1 million board feet of kiln capacity which gives us the ability to kiln dry our imported lumber ourselves.  This enables us to control the drying process ourselves and successfully reach the 6-8% moisture content levels without causing damage to the lumber.  We take our time to equalize and condition our lumber to ensure that our customers receive the best possible product.

If properly dried tropical lumber is important to you and you would like to know more about the care we put into drying the lumber we provide contact us today and we would be happy to share with you more of the details.

Jesper Bach
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