Are There Regional Barriers to Exporting U.S. Hardwood Products?
Forest Service and university researchers collaborated to compare a measure of production (employment-based) to the value of exports in three U.S. hardwood regions for two product types: lumber and secondary (cabinets and furniture) products. Proximity to seaports (i.e., the East Coast) benefited exporting of both hardwood lumber and secondary products, but the impact was greater for lumber. More inland regions of the United States faced greater disadvantages to exporting lumber, likely due to longer haul distances to ocean ports and higher transportation costs relative to product value. This circumstance is especially important given that Asian markets have replaced Canada as the most important U.S. export destination. Average sawmill size and sawtimber quality also impacted regional hardwood lumber exporting performance. The results of this research highlight the need for efficient transportation infrastructure from interior regions of the United States and show the importance of developing export markets for value-added products, for which regional transportation barriers are lower.
Forest Service Partners