WOODEN PALLET PRICES REMAIN STEADY EVEN AS HARDWOOD LUMBER MARKET SLUMPS

Alabama-based Bay Wood Products Responds to Industry Concerns

jimmy wilson

(ROBERTSDALE, Ala.) May 20, 2019 - Across the U.S. this spring, the hardwood lumber market is in an unseasonable slump thanks to factors such as severe weather and decreased demand from foreign consumers.

Jimmy Wilson, founder and president of Bay Wood Products in Baldwin County, Ala., often gets questions about why wooden pallet and packaging prices haven’t trended downward, too. For 25 years, Bay Wood has manufactured wood pallets and crates for a variety of industries, using softwoods such as southern pine, abundant in Alabama.

“There’s not one simple explanation,” Wilson said, “but rather a multitude of reasons the price of low-grade wood used to make pallets and packaging products remain stable or even cost more in today’s market.”

Since at least mid-2018, pine (softwood) and red oak (hardwood) markets have been depressed. The high grade continues to stay depressed because the demand from its biggest consumer, China, has decreased as the foreign nation experiences a housing crisis and downturn in its economy.

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Letter from Founder and President, Jimmy Wilson

jimmy wilson

May 20, 2019

Dear Friends,

You may have heard that lumber prices are down nationally. So why are wooden pallet prices staying level or going up when the hardwood market is depressed? Here’s the rest of the story.

Like so many things, there’s not one simple answer. There are a multitude of factors making the price of low-grade lumber used to make pallets and other wood packaging products remain stable or cost more in today’s market.

Hardwood lumber used to build pallets is the low-grade part of the log, typically the center portion. Most pallets built by Bay Wood Products are created from softwood pine. 

Since at least mid-2018, pine (softwood) and red oak (hardwood) markets have been depressed. The high grade continues to stay depressed because the demand from its biggest consumer, China, has decreased as the foreign nation experiences a housing crisis and downturn in the economy.

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Letter from Founder and President, Jimmy Wilson

March 7, 2019

Dear Friends,

This spring, we are looking forward to the opportunity to learn from our peers during the upcoming National Wooden Pallet & Container Association (NWPCA) Annual Leadership Conference (ALC). This will be the first time in six years that I'm attending as a regular member. It was my honor to serve two three-year terms on the NWPCA Board of Directors. Now it's time to give another entrepreneur a seat at the table.

During this year's conference, one of the sessions on the Fire Code Compliance Manual for Outdoor Storage of Wood Pallets will be very personal to me. As you may remember, our business experienced a fire that destroyed the kilns used to heat treat wooden pallets in December 2017. Fortunately, no one was injured and we were able to continue building and distributing our products without missing a beat.

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$1.5 million in
raw materials on site


$20 million
annual revenue


190 truckloads of
pallets monthly


Recycles up to 60
tons of wood scraps daily