Lumber is an essential trade commodity, both now and historically, in Canada. In the 19th Century, lumber accounted for a significant portion of Canadian trade.
There was a huge demand for lumber in Europe at the time and Canada was ready to fill that need, bringing immigration, investment, and economic development into Canada (Wynn, 2013).
The lumber industry in Canada started off mostly dependant on the strength of men; everything was done manually in the early 18-1900s. Two big innovations came in effect in the 1900s that changed the structure of the logging industry. In 1897, the steam-powered donkey engine, a machine that could drop logs up to 150 meters, was created. Later the “high lead system”, a machine capable of pulling or lifting logs over obstacles was created (Wynn, 2013). These changes helped to increase logging capacity and efficiency.
Historically, sawn lumber and square timber were major staples in the wood industry. Lumber and square timber were frequently shipped to England. They had to follow very strict specifications, however, that often changed with time (Wynn, 2013). This is similar to today’s industry, as the specifications and tariff categorization have changed over time, often due to political motivations.
As these changes and innovations continued to change the face of lumber trade in Canada across all provinces, it was British Colombia that was most open to new innovations. This brought a shift in Canadian wood production from the East to the West; wood from British Colombia became extremely popular (Wynn, 2013). Even today, British Colombia continues to be an extremely vital part of the Canadian Lumber Industry and economic growth in Canada. According to trade statistics, British Colombia is Canada’s largest exporter; exporting $825 million in softwood lumber in 2013 alone (Trade and Invest British Colombia, N.D.).
While the lumber industry was, and still is, a great Canadian resource, there are many uncertainties that surround the industry. Several factors cause nerve-wracking fluctuations in the demand for lumber, including but not limited to: weather conditions, trade disputes with other countries, and commercial uncertainties (Wynn, 2013).
Despite the instability surrounding the lumber industry, it has continued to thrive and prosper throughout history. It is these constant changes, however, that make having a good customs broker at your side essential to both the export and import process. Border Brokers has the knowledge and experience to help Lumber exporters and importers navigate this ever-changing industry.
A good customs broker will work along side lumber mills, lumber buyers, the National Lumber Association (NHLA), and the Canadian Trade Commissioner Service (TCS). A broker should be able to navigate all the intricacies associated with importing and exporting lumber materials. It is also essential to have up to date and extensive knowledge of the Harmonized Tariff Schedule (HTS), especially now as trade tensions rise, to avoid unnecessary duties and cross-border delays. This is why Border Brokers uses state of the art automation systems, and only employs knowledgeable, extensively trained release specialists to ensure simple, and efficient exporting and importing.
· Wynn, G. (2013, July 7). Timber Trade History.
Retrieved from URL https://www.thecanadianencyclopedia.ca/en/article/timber-trade-history/
· Trade and Invest British Colombia, (N.D.). Forestry
Retrieved from URL https://www.britishcolumbia.ca/export/industry-sectors/forestry/