You are here: Home / Research Topics / Research Highlights / Individual Highlight

Research Highlights

Individual Highlight

Hardwood Log Procurement and the Role of Log Brokers

Photo of Log bucking in Buckhannon, West Virginia. Iris Montague, USDA Forest Service.Log bucking in Buckhannon, West Virginia. Iris Montague, USDA Forest Service.Snapshot : Forest Service researchers analyzed hardwood log procurement practices and the effects of log brokers on the hardwood distribution system. They found that economic conditions have affected log procurement practices but not the role of log brokers. They also noted that sawmills had a limited demand for log broker services, with log delivery and the procurement of specialty logs being the most highly demanded broker services.

Principal Investigators(s) :
Montague, Iris 
Research Location : Urs Buehlmann, Virginia Tech, Blacksburg, VA 24061
Research Station : Northern Research Station (NRS)
Year : 2014
Highlight ID : 617

Summary

Forest Service researchers, working with partners at Virginia Tech, conducted an analysis of hardwood log procurement practices and the role of log brokers. The recent economic crisis has greatly affected how companies conduct business. To be competitive, companies have made changes to their product lines, distribution channels, marketing, and overall business strategies. Results indicated that, on average, the majority of hardwood logs were procured from gatewood purchases, and the majority of logs purchased went directly into the sawmill market. Although there was a decline in logs sold to sawmill and veneer markets (6 percent and 7 percent respectively), logs sold to export markets had a significant increase. Results also indicated that increasing fuel and trucking costs, followed by logger shortages, had the greatest negative effect on business operations. In contrast, increasing log exports had the greatest positive effect. Although current economic conditions have affected the way log brokers conduct business, they have been able to find ways to adapt. Services such as providing log delivery, bucking logs to desired lengths, and procuring hard-to-obtain species helped companies in the log business remain competitive. Although sawmills indicated only a limited demand for log broker services, log delivery and the procurement of specialty logs were identified as being the most highly demanded broker services.

Forest Service Partners

External Partners

 
  • Adrienn Andersch, Virginia Tech, Blacksburg, VA 24061