Over the last 4 weeks, we have talked about the regulations, obstacles, penalties, and relationships required to import lumber. It is a bumpy road from forest to your job site and to wrap up our series on lumber importing and the implications to the buyer and the environment, I wanted to offer a solution that should make all of this a whole lot easier.
Buy your lumber from the Importer of Record
What does this mean? The importer of record is essentially the owner of the lumber as it comes into this country. In the simplest terms buying from the importer of record means fewer hands on the lumber and a more direct line to the forest and source. Every entity that touches that lumber can muddy up the process and most certainly will take a bit of a cut of the profit off the top. There is lumber sitting in your local yard that has been received and shipped by 10-15 different companies and touched 3 and 4 continents on its way to that lumber rack. Every exporter, shipper, local tax, storage cost, wholesaler, distributor, dealer, manufacturer, and even contractor has contributed to the price you pay. This doesn’t necessarily mean that buying direct from the importer of record will be dramatically cheaper as that importer has to absorb all of the same costs. The fact that they do it in house can definitely contribute to keeping prices down.
More importantly however as indicated by our last post on the Lacey Act, knowing where your lumber came from is vitally important. Having fewer stops along the way and businesses getting involved will allow the ultimate user to be able to state with confidence that they know their lumber was harvested legally and responsibly. The same can be said for CITES species. Extra diligence is needed here and the importer or record has done the leg work.
The Importer of Record makes your job easier
So after 4 weeks of tracing the lumber trail, here is our first semblance of a sales pitch: J. Gibson McIlvain is the importer of record on our exotic hardwoods. We have a clear line of sight into where our lumber comes from, how it was harvested, who did the harvesting, the long term sustainability plans for that species, extensive knowledge of the species, and over 200+ years of relationships with the sawmills. This pedigree goes a very long way to ensuring you get legal lumber of the highest quality at a market price. Just to sweeten the deal, we will air dry and kiln dry it, mill it, mould it if applicable, and ship it nationwide.
In other words if you are already a J. Gibson McIlvain customer, don’t worry about the previous posts on ensuring legality and environmental responsibility. We’ve got you covered. If you are not a customer then maybe it’s time you became one.