To our valued customers,
2018 has been a complex year for the lumber industry so far, and a lot of issues have been raised already. We would like to take the time to address these issues with you, in hopes that you will understand what we are dealing with inside the industry and why we must take action now in order to better serve your needs going forward.
Let us say first, that in our 4 generations of experience, we have never seen things as severe as they are right now. We are not the only company having issues. NELMA, or the North East Lumber Mill Association (of which we are a member) is fighting their way through all these same issues.
What are these issues that we are speaking of?
To start with, there is a major shortage of raw material available to make our Eastern Sweet Pine bedding. A major mill fire in January tightened supplies for the entire northeast United States where this product is produced. While we were able to shift the lost production to other mills within our supply chain, our supplies remain incredibly tight with no relief in sight. Due to the increased demand for lumber and shavings, every mill has increased their price to us already.
Additionally, there is a shortage of truck drivers in the United States currently. The trucking industry is facing a 50,000 person shortage by the end of 2018. ALL of our trucking carriers have re-negotiated our trucking rates and have increased prices everywhere. Some lanes we service have seen price increases of $400 - $600 dollars or more. Unlike a lot of other companies, we do not mark up our freight.
The third thing that has increased so far this year is fuel prices. While fuel remained fairly consistent in 2017, ALL trucking companies are now charging up to .50 per mile in fuel surcharges. As of today it is .42 per mile. This changes weekly along with the price of diesel. We have seen this fee raise from as low as .25 per mile just last year.
Due to all of these issues beyond our control, we are now forced to raise prices to our customers. We have tried shifting production to other mills, we have contacted more than 50 trucking companies to date, and we still can not get our product to our customers fast enough. We want to be your shavings provider for years to come. We are actively fixing these issues, and the only way to do it is higher prices.
By raising prices, we will be able to secure more trucking options for you, secure additional product from our lumber mills, and resolve any supply issues going forward. Rest assured, we are constantly trying to find more production and better transportation options. As always, we encourage your feedback, questions, and phone calls.
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