Inventory management issues, shipment lead times, and currency fluctuations are just some of the common issues United States tropical hardwood importers who bring in millions of board feet each year -like American Lumber- are challenged with.
When it comes to tropical lumber, not all species are sold in 8’ and longer bundles. One of the challenges to this is that it results in the regular accumulation of lumber less than 8’ long. This is due to the fact many of the sawmills in Central America, South America, and Africa require importers to accept certain overall shipment length concessions in order for the importer to receive their required volumes.
This system is much different than the North American standard. For example, for a species like Morado, we are sometimes asked to purchase lumber in bundles that are 3”+ wider and 3’+ long. Thankfully, we have found that many users of Morado understand this packaging practice and are happy to accept lumber in this fashion on occasion. Conversely, this practice can be an issue when we are talking about other tropical species. With species such as African Mahogany, Cedar, Sapele, or Caribbean Rosewood, shorter length provisions can sometimes be an issue. Because of this we sometimes find ourselves with an abundance of 6-7’ lengths of these tropical species in our inventory.
However, the shorter tropical lumber lengths can be an excellent opportunity for hardwood distributors and secondary manufacturers to build a mixed load around. This is especially true if the product being manufactured can be produced with shorter length lumber. We have found that these shorter lengths have worked great for furniture makers, flooring manufacturers, wood turners, and even musical instrument manufacturers.
We regularly update our tropical lumber stock list at American Lumber which features many of these 6’ and 7’ bundles. To view the latest version of the American Lumber Imported Stock List click here.
If you have any questions regarding tropical hardwood lumber please let us know. We would be happy to help!