FRA Western Region Activity Report


At FRA’s Annual Meeting in May, each region shares information on the key wood supply chain issues facing the forest industry. The following is the Western Region’s report:

  • Equipment is sitting idle due to lack of drivers
  • Qualified, experienced drivers are retiring or leaving without the numbers to replace them. Predictably, service has suffered because of drivers being hired to ‘fill seats.’
  • ELDs – once drivers adjust to the change, ELDs are an improvement. Unfortunately, a few are leaving because of this change.
  • Currently there is a softening in the log and chip markets which will lessen the short-term need for drivers in a few markets. This may have a much more dramatic effect later when the need rises incrementally.
  • Trucking insurance is at critical levels. Some trucking companies are seeing a 20% increase in premiums. Many insurance carriers are either mandating or ‘strongly suggesting’ installation of dash mount cameras in the trucks. (Which could alienate more drivers).
  • The initiatives to gain truck drivers in the region will continue

General Labor Pool Shortages – There are shortages on all levels. “Cannabis Friendly” states have an even more difficult time getting clean employees.

Forest Collaboratives – There have been many success stories with the Good Neighbor Authority and Stewardship Contracts in the region.

Upcoming WR Meeting:
August 27-29, 2019, WR Fall Meeting, Lewiston Idaho.
Theme: Inland Innovations: Investment for the Future

Previous WR Meeting:

A review of educational opportunities from the past year.

January 24, 2019 – Mapping the Course, joint meeting with WFCA, Vancouver, Washington

  • Kevin Mason (ERA) – 2019 Stressors and Opportunities for North American Forest Industry
  • Hakan Ekstrom (WRI) – Outlook for Sawlog and Pulpwood in Western US and Western Canada
  • Brooks Mendell (FORISK) – Comparing the Competitiveness of North America’s Forest Industry
  • Court Standley (Port Blakely US) – Strategic Issues for PNW Timberland in 2019
  • Bob Flynn (RISI) – Softwood Log and Lumber Markets in Asia
  • Larry Davis (Cosmo Specialty Fibers) – US PNW Pulp Mill Sector
  • Murray Hall (Murray Hall Consultants) – BC Interior Forest Industry in a Post-Mountain Pine Beetle World
  • Jim Girvan (MDT Management) – Coastal BC “A Region of Uncertainty”
  • Jon Stirling (Pacific Bioenergy) – Japanese Market for Pellets
  • Travis Joseph (AFRC) – Public Lands Log Supply Contribution in Age of High Log and Housing Demand
  • Ashley Cribb (Roseburg) – US PNW 2019 Outlook
Wednesday, 05 June 2019 14:56
Vickie Swanton | Western Region Manager

Vickie serves as the region manager for the Pacific Northwest