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Wood packaging industry is alarmed: German export industry and domestic supply in danger.

Marcus Kirschner, Managing Director of the Federal Association of Wood Packaging, Pallets, Export Packaging (HPE) recently warned of the increasingly stagnant supply of sawn timber and the associated delivery bottlenecks for pallets and export packaging.

Not only the domestic, but also the export industry is being slowed down considerably by the widening shortage of pallets and export packaging. Even now, the industry can no longer fully supply companies in the automotive industry, mechanical and plant engineering, the electrical industry, the chemical industry or the food sector due to a lack of wood.

“The upswing in Germany will not be able to develop its full potential without wooden packaging and pallets. We can already see this in parts, since the industry can only be supplied by 8% of the HPE companies as usual, and in parts not at all. Backorders are increasing. Penalties for delayed delivery for the industry are asserted. Wood packaging companies have to cut back their production, suspend and put on short-time work because sawn timber assortments are no longer available and not foreseeable”, the industry representative explains his warning.

The Federal Association believes that export restrictions are just as ineffective as restrictions on felling in the forest. The HPE encourages people to think about the environmental consequences when sawn timber and round timber are shipped around the world after fumigation. Should Germany become CO2 neutral by 2045 according to the new Climate Protection Act, which presents the entire German industry with an almost impossible task, the export of the CO2 storage wood could be assessed as carbon leakage and included in the CO2 pricing, the HPE considers .

In addition, the strengthening of the regional supply chains is particularly important to the HPE. According to many companies, the active support of the small and medium-sized sawmill industry in particular has saved the supply of wood packaging manufacturers from collapse, while others have switched to the export of sawn timber and planed goods and increasingly focused on vertical added value . This is precisely why it is important for the forest to ensure that small and medium-sized sawmills are supplied with regional logs. “We see the strengthening of the regional supply chains also as a task of the state and municipal forest owners and thus to fulfill their supply function and to counteract oligopolization with the associated price and volume dominance,” explains Kirschner.

“The main thing now is to act quickly,” warns Kirschner. “Even if the bubble bursts on the lumber market in the USA, we believe the situation will continue to get worse. Even now, the additional needs of the German economy can hardly be met. With the recovery of the world economy, especially in India, Pakistan, Australia, Japan, and also in Europe itself, to name just a few, the global demand for wood will increase. ”Even the Chinese economy is not yet at full capacity. The chances for the export world champion Germany in the global upswing are enormous. The HPE managing director sees the global economy just at the beginning of a hypercycle. Demand is increasing almost simultaneously worldwide.

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