Activity dampened in the lumber market yesterday. There was trepidation. Buyers became cautious. Wholesalers were more aggressive. Trying to understand what to do and how to maneuver pervaded mindsets. One minute the market showed strength with confidence, the next weakness and hesitation, leading to self-doubts. What is known though had not changed. Logistics continued to be a problem. Key items were difficult to source. Reloads were riddled with voids. The mills had wood but could not deliver quick enough to satisfy demand. Needed lumber continued to be in the wrong place.
How much of the logistics issue is related to the economy wide problem of too few drivers etc. and what aspects of the logistics problem are unique to lumber?
The major issue is the lack of drivers. When the pandemic hit, training schools closed and did not reopen for several months. As older drivers retired there were few ready to pick up the slack. What is unique in some way is that there was always a lower pay rate for hauling lumber than other items such examples as produce and mulch