Forests have always been considered as one of the most important resources for various industries, including timber. As both forestry and timber industry are witnessing a significant growth, the demand for forestry/timber trailers for efficient transportation of round wood has reached new heights. There has been a rise in demand for timber for a wide range of applications such as construction, paper manufacturing, specialty wood products such as furniture, and fuel source. The figure below shows the actual global production and consumption volume of industrial round wood for years 1965, 1990, and 2995 and projected volume for years 2020 and 2030:
Global Production and Consumption of Industrial Roundwood,
In Million Meter Cube
Source: The United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO)
According to the North American Industrial Classification (NAICS), the most relevant forest and lumber industry sub-sectors can be defined as follows:
- Timber Services – managing timber lands and selling timber to downstream wood, pulp, and paper manufacturers;
- Logging- cutting and felling trees to produce sawlogs for use in pulp mills and sawmills; and
- Forest Support Services- assisting downstream timber and logging operators in timber valuation
In the United States, according to NAICS, revenues in the natural resources industries totalled US$19.6 billion in 2018-19. According to the EUROSTAT, the production of roundwood in the EU-27 was 21 per cent higher in 2018 than in 2000, with 23 per cent of the total production as used as fuelwood and the rest was used for veneers and sawnwood, pulp and paper production.
Construction Industry Fuelling the Timber Demand
Booming global construction industry is the prime driver of timber industry which, in turn, is also escalating the demand for timber trailers worldwide. According to the WEF (World Economic Forum), the construction industry accounts for 6 per cent of the global GDP and is the largest global consumer of raw materials. Mushrooming global population is pressurizing governments around the world to provide affordable housing. The figure below depicts the global population data for the period 2010-2019:
Global Population Data, in Billion, 2010 to 2019
Source: The World Bank Group
According to the World Bank Group data, the global population has increased from 6.922 billion in 2010 to 7.674 billion in 2019. As a result, governments as well as global organizations are constantly implementing various policies and programmes to boost construction activities. For instance, the UK government is providing funding to support its domestic housing market through initiatives such as the Help-to-Buy Equity Loan Scheme and Funding for Lending Scheme. NAB, one of Australia’s biggest banks, has pledged to support affordable and social housing initiatives in the country over the next three years with an investment of $2 billion in order to provide homeless and vulnerable people access to secure accommodation. This rising construction of houses will continue to drive the growth of timber trailers market worldwide. Growing shift towards modular and elegant wooden furniture across both residential and commercial building sector to improve the interior designs is further augmenting the demand for timber, thus positively impacting the market growth of timber trailers.
Growing Pulp and Paper Manufacturing
The global pulp and paper manufacturing industry is growing, although at a slower pace. According to the 2019 edition of the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE) and the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) Forest Products Annual Market Review, paper and paperboard production rose in the CIS (the Commonwealth of Independent States) by almost 4 per cent in 2018, while it declined slightly in North America and remained flat in Europe. Also, wood pulp production rose in Europe in the same year due to increased demand as well as capacity and it was high in the CIS as well on account of increased capacity and a weak Russian rouble. However, the apparent consumption of wood pulp was remained stable in both North America and Europe despite higher prices and declining graphic-paper demand. South America witnessed a rise in supply of wood pulp for the packaging, sanitary and household paper segments across these two regions. Another factor that is escalating the demand for pulp and paper is the rapidly growing e-commerce industry, especially in the Asia Pacific (APAC) region, which is increasing the demand for paperboard and paper packaging solutions.
However, growing concerns about environmental sustainability and stringent forest conservation policies developed by regulatory bodies is affecting the growth of timber industry and thus, timber trailers market. Rising cases of wildfires breaking out in forests is also negatively impacting the market growth of timber trailers. According to the United Nations Office Outer Space Affairs, around 330-431 million hectare around the globe is affected by forest fire every year.
Severe Impact of Coronavirus on the Global Construction Sector
The transportation equipment industry is historically more cyclical than the economy, meaning the highs are higher and the lows are lower. As such, even a mild recession can cause extreme fluctuation in this market. The recent global pandemic outbreak caused by COVID-19 has brought the construction industry to a near standstill which, in turn, has adversely impacted the demand for timber trailers. Mandatory government lockdowns and social distancing measures has made the construction activity work downward sloping with construction sites in many countries being shutdown along with the global supply chain disruption that has suspended production and distribution of building materials. On the demand side, reduced economic activity has led to a drastic fall in demand for new commercial or industrial facilities. Decline in incomes along with lack of consumer confidence has also deteriorated the demand for both housing construction and renovation.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Anjali Joshi is a senior market research analyst at Knowledge Sourcing Intelligence. She oversees a team of analysts and is known for the quality of market intelligence she delivers to the clients which range from start-ups and Non-profit Organizations to Fortune 500 companies. Anjali’s keen understanding of international business and market dynamics, coupled with her years of experience working in this industry, allows her to analyse current and future trends across both global and clients’ target markets and help them in making informed decisions.