For a state with forests covering more than half of it, it’s no wonder Tennessee is a leader in hardwood products. However, knowing that this renewable resource exists as a money-making proposition and being in the position to know how to ship it are two very different things. There are many pieces of information you must know or you could be doomed to fail.
While shipping Tennessee hardwood can seem like a monumental undertaking, the secret to making the process manageable is understanding how to prepare the wood for shipping and what associated costs can crop up. Once you are more familiar with these aspects, you’ll find that shipping isn’t only feasible — it’s basic.
Hardwood and lumber production are part of the fiber of industry in Tennessee. The Volunteer State is a huge part of America’s hardwood output. A good amount of the wood removal comes from the western part of the state, although trees are cut down to be made into hardwood products in east Tennessee as well.
Tennessee offers a vast variety of quality lumber, including some of the most popular hardwoods:
Good wood is a large need in the United States and overall, over 91 percent is kept in the country with a little more than 8 percent exported. Even though we keep most of our lumber, a lot of it ends up leaving the country temporarily. Hardwoods are harvested from American states, such as Tennessee, and exported to be crafted then re-imported to be finished and sold here.
The kinds of products made out of hardwood are numerous. Much of it is meant for homes, buildings or as items that go inside both. These are for building wood houses, hardwood flooring and furniture that enjoy a wide range from kitchen tables to countertops, and bed frames to couches and chairs. But it goes further than that. It can be used to make tools, to build boats and barrels, and even make cooking utensils. The application of hardwood into many things humans make is extensive.
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There are a few different ways to ship hardwood lumber and the best way really depends on how long the lumber is while being shipped.
For instance, if you have cut your wood into shorter pieces — at about 6 feet or under — it can be put on standard-sized pallets and loaded onto the back of a regular 18-wheeler. However, most hardwood lumber is not shipped at short lengths and may be longer. There are oversized pallets that go up to 9 feet in length but you’d have to ask the shipping company for those specially.
At lengths in the double digits, it would likely be best to inquire about shipping via a flatbed truck for hardwood lumber. A flatbed on a truck is between 48 and 53 feet long and can carry up to 46,000 pounds, so you can get a lot of wood there. Once on the truck, it will be strapped down and possibly covered with a tarp to prevent the elements from affecting the hardwood.
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If the wood is being exported from America overseas, ocean freight will be the best option. An airplane could be used but it will absolutely be the most expensive option both domestically and internationally.
Rail is another option but what keeps it from being the best is — like ocean and airplane — it cannot be used as a door-to-door option, which means a regular or flatbed truck is needed at the loading and unloading stages still.
Wood should be dried beforehand, since wet wood will continue to dry and possibly crack. You can employ a process known as kiln dry, which uses an oven to dry the wood. This is faster than air drying and also allows you to control factors like humidity, temperature and steam over a certain amount of time.
If you’re shipping the hardwood in an enclosed environment, there doesn’t need to be care taken in really covering the lumber. However, on an open truck bed, the wood should be covered and strapped down to limit the effect of the elements on it as much as possible.
But if it is just hardwood lumber that still needs to be further processed, you’re not worried about scratches or nicks at this point. The worry is just keeping the wood dry, not overly humid and in one piece so it can be worked with down the line.
Is your Tennessee hardwood for use in hardwood floors? Learn more about freight shipping flooring.
When shipping with a third-party logistics company, you will have the option between less than truckload (LTL) and full truckload (FTL). Some companies might offer both, or just one.
If the loaders and unloaders of the hardwood are willing to move the freight by hand, it costs the rate of a regular truckload since that’s what can be used. However, if shipping by flatbed truck, the price will be different.
The distance will also play a big factor in the price quoted by a 3PL. Also, it’s not correct to assume that LTL will always be cheaper than FTL. If you need enough pallets as part of an LTL load, it might actually be more cost efficient to opt for an FTL — even if you don’t fill the whole truck.
Now that you have a grip on how to start shipping Tennessee hardwood, it’s time for you to reach out to R+L Global Logistics. We are experts at transporting hardwood and can offer solutions for you in a variety of different ways.
First and foremost, we are industry leaders in the transportation arena. We offer great freight hauling options coupled with outstanding customer service for a superlative experience. One thing R+L Global prides itself on, and we think you’ll like as well, is our dedication to getting your freight to its destination in a timely manner. In fact, we boast a 99.5 percent on-time delivery rate for our hauling of freight.
R+L Gloal Logistics specializes in routes from Tennessee and across the country. No matter whether you're shipping from Tennessee to Texas, Tennessee to Florida, or even shipping freight Tennesee to California, we're here to help.
Besides our strong desire and ability to be your preferred transportation option, R+L Global Logistics offers other services to add value to your business operations. For instance, we can provide expedited shipping for you. This type of shipping — depending on the route’s distance — can shave up to 2 days off the time of regular transport.
R+L Global Logistics can also help manage other aspects of the supply chain for you, including providing space in our many warehouses across the United States and also undertake order fulfillment for your business as well. Using our competency and expertise in these areas could really help elevate the efficiency of your operations.
So when shipping Tennessee hardwood is the next item on your agenda, get a free quote from R+L Global Logistics by calling us at 866.353.7178.