West Coast Business Trends

Share this...

Out on the West Coast, it’s pretty much the same as the rest of the country: demand is high, but supplies are tight.

In Washington, a lumber provider stated, “Sales are pretty good. Lack of availability is the killer. That’s the only thing that’s slowing us down. We could sell a lot, like everybody, I’m sure. There’s just not very good availability across the board.”

Compared to six months earlier, “I’d say the market’s probably better,” he stated. “It’s pretty close. The market was pretty good six months ago, too. Overall, I’d say we’re better.”

The top five species carried by this lumber company are Poplar, Hard and Soft Maple and Red and White Oak in No. 1 Common and FAS. 

Most of his customers are end users. “My customers are pretty dang busy,” he noted.

Asked how transportation is affecting his business, he immediately said it is “horrible.” “Every industry is cranking along, so we’re fighting for the same trucks. Truckers don’t want to carry eight-foot tarps anymore. So, that seems to be an issue. That restricts our availability.”

In California, a lumberman rated his sales as good, “especially on White Oak, Walnut and Poplar. But lately, everything’s moving fairly well.” He added that the market is “a little better” than it was last year.

He sells Red and White Oak, Alder, Poplar, Cherry, Walnut, Hard Maple and Birch, mostly in upper grades. Sales are to contractors, custom home builders, retail lumber yards and municipalities. He said he knows that his customers who are contractors are experiencing brisk business. “They’re doing better.”

Transportation is a problem, he said. This includes trucking, rail, containers, lead times, pricing: “you name it, it’s all affecting our business right now. Getting material into our stock has been affected by delays not only in loading containers but also in shipping times, port congestion, container costs. That’s all driven up prices and delayed material getting on the shelf.”

At another California firm, a lumberman said, “Lumber is tight, but the market is strong.

“There’s less lumber than six months ago,” he added.

He handles Walnut, White Oak and Hickory, all uppers, No. 1 Common and No. 2 Common.

He sells lumber to flooring companies and distribution yards. “Most of them say their sales are very good,” he noted.

Unlike many other lumber companies, this one has no trouble with transportation. “There are so many trucks here,” the lumber provider stated. “We’re very fortunate.”

To the north, in Oregon, a source said his market is “booming on the demand side. About every specie is in demand, almost every grade.” However, he added, product scarcity weighs heavily on his customers. He has good order files but struggles with not enough product to meet demand. “We’ll see as we go into summer if this changes,” he stated.

The market is “clearly better now,” he declared.

His business handles 14 species of Hardwoods, including Alder, Hard and Soft Maple, Cherry, Red and White Oak, 

Basswood, Hickory and Walnut. He sells these species to both distribution yards and end users.

“Transportation has been difficult,” he remarked. “We deliver all over the nation.” Trucking and overseas shipping are both issues, he noted. n

By Miller Wood Trade Publications

The premier online information source for the forest products industry since 1927.

Share This

By Miller Wood Trade Publications

The premier online information source for the forest products industry since 1927.

E-News Signup

For news and updates, subscribe to our e-newsletter.

Recent Articles
Related Articles
National Hardwood Magazine
Miller Wood Trade Publications

Industry News NHM June 24

Patrick Lumber Hosts First Open House At New Headquarters Caption: Chelsea Zuccato Patrick Lumber Co. recently welcomed 170 guests to its annual St. Patrick’s Day

Read More »
National Hardwood Magazine
Miller Wood Trade Publications

What Did You Learn Today?

Each morning at our recent National Conference in Charleston, SC, Nate Irby, executive director of the Railway Tie Association, greeted me with a basic question:

Read More »