This is how you alleviate the lack of wood!

With new lightweight building codes, there are limits to how many trees can be felled before our environment is endangered. It puts pressure on manufacturers to find alternative sources of materials that are readily available elsewhere given the scarcity of wood.

The scarcity of the wood supply

The construction of lightweight houses requires a special way of using lumber. It includes spruce, pine, and fir in the United States.

When these trees are felled, they release CO2 into our environment and contribute to climate change. In addition, the sap of these trees acts as a natural repellent against insects.

“Unfortunately, that’s not a commercially viable option for us right now,” said John Deely, professor of economics at the University of Denver. Many companies either don’t have another market to go to, or they can’t afford to pay more than what they’re getting from selling in that market. This shortage of wood has caused prices in the United States to rise by as much as 60% in some cases, making it more expensive than imported wood.

It’s difficult to justify over-reliance on them when there are many, many sustainable alternatives, although that’s good for American companies.

what causes it

The problem is that the material that used to be used in furniture and high-end office buildings is now being used in more and more homes to replace steel and concrete. However, only 550 lumber mills in the United States produce these timbers. This limited number of manufacturers has somehow led to price increases and supply shortages.

The Effects of a Shortage of Wood Supply

The shortage of supply of lumber mainly affects the price of the resources, but also affects the manufacturers. A smaller amount increases the cost of production, which can cause some companies to lose money in the process. In this case, they are forced to close their shops.

Even after mills make more of these timbers available for construction, builders will most likely have to wait a long time before they can get their hands on any.

In addition, the construction industry is still struggling to overcome the economic instability of recent years. In some areas, contractors are taking fewer jobs and completing them more slowly.

How to alleviate the shortage of wood supplies?

New methods of producing high-precision cut timber are being developed by sawing system companies like to help solve the shortage.

Though not perfected yet, below are some ideas that will come in handy to alleviate the problem:

1. Start using reclaimed wood

The price of wood has risen drastically in the last 15 years. While this is not a problem for large companies, it is difficult for smaller companies to maintain.

Reclaimed wood can be found in old barns and warehouses that have been destroyed or renovated. This material should perform the same as natural lumber since its chemical composition has not changed. The only difference might be that it smells like old hay or has an extra nail from a couple of years ago, but that shouldn’t affect its structural integrity.

Consider how much of a new lumber would need to be cut down to produce the reclaimed lumber you use to protect the environment. It’s a win-win for everyone involved when someone can use an old record instead of a newly cut one.

2. Replace lumber with alternative materials

Perhaps there are other building materials that are used instead of wood, such as:

They take a lot longer to make than wood, but they can be cheaper in the long run.

This option may not be as aesthetically pleasing, but it can have the same strength at a lower cost.

It is very light, strong and flexible, but more expensive than other materials.

Possibly used when strength is not an issue, but both are heavy.

There are many options for anyone building or repairing something. It would be in everyone’s best interest if non-timber resources were explored more frequently.

3. Upgrade lumber mills

Most of the problems in the timber industry caused by mills have not been able to keep up with the demand for certain types of wood. Mainly it’s because they haven’t used newer technology to make more boards faster. Enterprises produce Kindling, which helps increase the overall production of the Factory. While the ideal situation is for everyone to have access to these highly efficient mills, given the high cost of construction, this may not be possible.

For the time being, modernization of the existing should be a priority in the timber industry. Lumber is used all over the world; Everyone must find a solution soon.

When using smaller board footage, there is no need to reorder the project. Install a 1½ x 5 inch board instead of a 2 x 6 inch board. It reduces the amount of wood needed while still providing the necessary support.

Engineering lumber sizes are used instead of traditional ones because the names are easier to remember. The board material may need to be adjusted, but it shouldn’t drastically change the support system of whatever is being built.

5. Manufacturing of custom circuit boards

One way to make better use of the wood supply in a facility is to create planks with custom widths and lengths. This allows shorter pieces to be folded together, saving more wood in the long run.

For example, an 8ft piece of wood must build two 2ft pieces and one 6ft piece to complete the task. This means there are a total of three full board feet in the system, while an eight foot board only has two.

A little goes a long way for this option, but companies need to plan wisely if they want it to pay off.

6. Use of wood recycling

Not only plant and animal by-products can be recycled into new products, wood is one of them.

To ensure companies do their part properly, make sure they have recycling bins near their equipment. They should focus on using as much of a board as possible before throwing it away.

It could be due to small parts stuck in saws or imperfections found on the outside of the board. Instead of wasting what’s left, have recyclable items separated for later reuse.

7. Increase lumber yield

Some sawmills are experimenting with new ways to get more wood out of a log. By making minor adjustments in the rolling and drying process, up to 10 percent more material can be recovered from each tree. While this won’t completely solve the problem, it would help ease the pressure from the current wood shortage.

For those trying to stay ahead of the curve, investing in technology that produces more wood per tree is a good place to start. However, for it to work properly, everyone needs to be on board and fulfilling future orders.

8. Use of herbal compounds

Scientists today are constantly looking for new ways to make everything from plastics to fabrics that don’t require hemp or cotton. Some companies have already started using these materials in their products, making them more environmentally friendly than ever.

It doesn’t stop there; another solution is the use of plant compounds in the manufacture of fiberboard and chipboard. While this method reduces the amount of material needed, it also results in a greater chance of developing cancer.

Despite these risks, organizations should consider making this switch as soon as possible, before the costs outweigh the potential benefits.

9. Forging new deals with lumber producers

Another way to ensure that there is enough produced wood for the company’s needs is to enter into a few contracts with different wood producers. It may cost more upfront, but ensures everything needed for production is available without disruption or delay.

Once companies have this guarantee, they are less likely to fall behind on orders and slow down the progress of their day-to-day activities.

It can be a lot of work, and well worth the effort and frustration when demand starts to increase after the project is completed.

10. Collaborate with other industries to find creative solutions

No one knows how long the wood shortage will last, but that doesn’t mean there aren’t other ways to make ends meet in the meantime. One way to overcome this is to work with other industries that are in a similar situation and may have solutions that could be useful.

For example, one company may not be producing enough plywood while another is struggling to make enough boxes. There may be a way to meet the needs of both, either by splitting the order or by joining forces. They come together and discuss what the other needs.

Final Thoughts

Companies must do everything they can to avoid the wood shortage. Whether using technology, outsourcing or innovating in-house, some solutions will help the timber industry get through this difficult time.

As long as these companies stay engaged and look for new ways to maximize efficiency and performance, they should weather most bottlenecks without much trouble.

Wood scarcity article and permission for publication here provided by Claire Glassman. Originally written for Supply Chain Game Changer and published on January 27th, 2022.

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