Thursday, 07 September 2017 13:29

Tropical Lumber Shorts Can Be a Great Value for Manufacturers

United States based importers of tropical hardwoods like Baillie Lumber, who bring in millions of board feet each year typically have to deal with many challenges.  Currency fluctuations, shipment lead times, and inventory management issues are some of the common issues to deal with.

One of the other challenges to deal with on the purchasing side, which is not as obvious, is the regular accumulation of lumber less than 8 foot long. When it comes to tropicals not all species are sold in 8’+longer bundles. When dealing with sawmills in Africa, Central American & South American is it common for importers to have to accept certain overall shipment length concessions in order to receive the required volumes required.

For example, in a species such as Morado we often are asked to purchase lumber in bundles that are 3”+ wider and 3’+ longer. This is much different that the North American standard. Luckily, we find the regular users of Morado understand this packaging practice and are willing to accept lumber in this fashion on occasion.

caribbean rosewood 7foot IMG 0205However, in other species like Sapele, African Mahogany, Cedar or even Caribbean Rosewood the provision of shorter lengths can sometimes be an issue. In some instances, as a supplier of tropical hardwood lumber, we can find ourselves with volumes of 6’-7’ stock in these type of species accumulating in our inventory.  

For secondary manufacturers, and hardwood distributors that serve them, this could result in an excellent opportunity to build a mixed load of lumber around. Especially if the product being manufactured is conducive to using shorter lengths. From dealing with our customers we find these shorter length bundles are usually consumed by flooring manufacturers, furniture makers and even makers of musical instruments and wood turnings. We also find that a large portion of our customers interested in tropical shorts are in the retail sector and with the holiday season only a few months away now could be a good time to make inquiries on these type of products.

At Baillie Lumber, many of these 6’ and 7’ bundles are featured on our monthly imported hardwood lumber mailer and in our tropical lumber stock list. To view the latest version, September 2017, click here.

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If you have any questions about tropical hardwood lumber let us know. We would be happy to try to help!

Jesper Bach
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