Hardwood lumber is getting hard to come by

A good many new pallets, especially in the eastern US are made from hardwood lumber.  They’re built from “low grade” hardwood, i.e., hardwood lumber that would not be suitable for furniture making or cabinetry applications due to aesthetic reasons.  Pallets however are not the only use for low grade hardwood as the railroad and construction industries have voracious demands for this material too.

In the Southeast, heavy rains have created a demand for road matting, which is used by construction crews to cover muddy areas that would otherwise be inaccessible to vehicles and equipment.  In addition, railroad tracks are constantly being serviced and repaired.  Part of that process involves replacing old track ties, which are made from hardwood lumber.  Finally, the oil and gas industry requires crane matting for well drilling and temporary roads similar to the construction industry.  All of these industries compete with pallet manufacturers for low grade hardwood lumber.

Heavy rains also can also cause tracts of land to be inaccessible to loggers thus reducing the available supply of timber for hardwood sawmills.  Loggers need to be able to move equipment into the woods and severe muddy conditions can prevent the equipment from accessing the areas to be harvested.  Loggers must then wait until the ground has sufficiently dried before moving in to begin selectively clearing hardwood trees.

At Premier Pallets, the sourcing of low grade hardwoods has always been a priority so that new pallets can be provided to its customers without interruption.  We have begun a vertical integration of our supply chain to insure plentiful supplies of material for new pallets.  Contact us for more information on how we can help you maintain a steady supply of new pallets.