Timber has for long been in use in the construction of various structures. It is known to be strong and to add an aesthetic touch to structural developments. The timber industry is one of the oldest industries in the world. Its influence is vast as it spans over a very long period. Of late, the timber industry has been experiencing myriads of challenges. The importance of timber in structural developments cannot be ignored; hence the need to carefully examine these challenges and come up with solutions. The challenges are experienced in different sectors of the wood products industry as follows;
1. Timber Harvesting Sector
Some the challenges being experienced by the timber industry in the timber harvesting sector include;
- The shortage land on which forestry can be developed to provide timer supplies. In light of the reducing forest cover globally, cutting down trees in natural forests is not a viable option.
- Climate change is another rampant challenge that has engulfed the timber industry. Climate change has brought along massive changes in tree growing. In some areas, climate change has hindered the growth of some tree species that have been known to be a source of timber.
- Another challenge is the lack of understanding of natural systems by increasing tree plantation growers. This hinders proper forest management with a consequential effect on the logs obtained.
2. Transportation Sector
The log transportation sector also faces a myriad of challenges. The tree plantations are at times far from the sawmill and transportation may be costly. A common solution to these challenges is having the plantation close to a river and building a sawmill downstream. The logs are floated in the river and transported downstream to the sawmill. This method is convenient since;
- It is a low-cost method.
- The logs are transported faster.
However, there are challenges that accompany the use of rivers to transport logs such as;
- Logs with high resin content cannot be transported since they sink into the river.
- The method might alter the natural vegetation and habitats along the river.
3. Manufacturing and Distribution Sector
In the face of rising tree plantation growers across the globe, there is intense competition in the wood processing sector. It has become paramount for the stakeholders in wood processing to become creative and find ways to improve the quality of their wood products for them to remain relevant. This competition trickles down to the manufacturer level, distributor, merchant and retail outlet. Their revenue is dictated by how much favour the quality of wood products they use finds within the populations. There is a wide range of wood products such as Hardwood timber, Medium Density Fibreboard, laminates and Plywood. The aesthetic beauty of wood products is what sells among most people, and it is subject to the quality of wood used.