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