SWPA Wood Fiber Transportation Market
Background: For many years the Southeastern Wood Producers Association (SWPA) has used its magazine and website as vehicles for its members to market the sale of logging equipment. Recently, attempts to expand this usage for other business classified items have been offered. The overall objective of the association is to provide its members multiple benefits for their membership dues. Overall, there has been little interest and usage with regard to the classified sections.
At a recent SWPA continuing education workshop in October of this year, two SWPA board members were talking to the group about the many benefits of association membership that many loggers were not aware of besides just providing education hours to be compliant with industry SFI requirements. This includes legislative representation in the Georgia and Florida along with Washington, DC fly-ins with the American Loggers Council.
This led to conversation about increased weight limits for log trucks and ultimately to transportation costs and efficiencies. One logger in the room commented that the association could do more to provide platforms for members to communicate their business needs or services. When mentioned that this was already available, everyone seemed in the dark and unaware.
This group discussion ultimately led to the birth of the “Wood Fiber Transportation Market” concept. Being aware of the need for maximum loaded miles and the lackluster efforts made by dispatching systems, the idea that a simple classified forum where loggers and truckers could communicate their trucking excesses or deficiencies could be developed. With the SWPA website available, the next step was how to develop a plan and market it.
If it proves successful, it not only will be an additional service available to SWPA members, it also has the potential to bring needed financial resources to the association without raising membership dues. Hopefully, it will lead to other types of advertisements for logging related business issues.
After the trial period, the project will still continue with a rate structure of $25 per truck for a two week advertisement slot. After polling SWPA logger board members, they felt this will be a fair rate for the potential return on the cost if they get more loaded miles. SWPA non-members will pay more to use the service. Placing an advertisement will require completing a simple form indicating contact information and whether they are seeking trucks or have extras available. The SWPA assumes no responsibility in what occurs when advertisers are contacted and individual agreements are made by the outside parties. Parties interested in trying this service should call the SWPA home office at 904-845-7133.
Logging associations are rapidly becoming more effective at supporting the needs of their members thus providing greater opportunities for success for their members. This in turn creates stability in the overall forest products industry by ensuring that the harvesting and fiber transportation components will remain stable. Every logger should be a member of their states logging association if they are seeking profitability and longevity for their companies.