US Logger Survey Identifies Industry’s Headwinds

The July-August issue of Timber Harvesting includes the results of its recent 2024 Logger Survey. Almost 200 loggers across the US responded to the survey, which showed that logging contractors in all parts of the country are having a difficult time dealing with rising costs and declining demand in multiple areas.

For the first time across 20-plus years of logger surveys, the number of loggers who rate their company’s financial health as “poor” (9%) to “very poor” (21%) outnumbered those who say “good” (21%) to “very good” (7%). Combined, 30% of responses were negative and 28% were positive.

Two-thirds (66%) of respondents said they see a trend towards lower sawlog and plylog demand in their area. An overwhelming number of loggers (89%) say they see a trend toward lower pulp and fiber wood in their area.

The top four challenges cited were as follows:

  1. Insurance: 68%
  2. Limited markets: 62%
  3. Load quotas: 57%
  4. Mill compensation: 56%

Other highlights from the survey include the following:

  • 45% of loggers have trucks parked due to a lack of qualified drivers
  • 61% buy at least some of their own timber
  • 69% have employees who regularly operate two or more different machines
  • 85% of loggers say they would seek other work rather than relocate to stay in logging

The full results of the survey are included in the July-August issue of Timber Harvesting.

FEA compiles the Wood Markets News from various 3rd party sources to provide readers with the latest news impacting forest product markets. Opinions or views expressed in these articles do not necessarily represent those of FEA.