The winter mud is frozen solid into undulating ridges in the log yard at Columbia Forest Products here. The veneer logs, piled as high as two-story houses in frozen stack after stack, fill the yard with about 1 million board feet of prime lumber.
A big diesel rig bounces over the hard ground, grinding its way with a load of logs to the loading chute for the mill, where the logs will be peeled into veneer for hardwood plywood on a giant lathe.
"The yard is pretty much full," says Chris Sloan, Columbia's continuous improvement manager.
That's more than Sloan can say for the inside of the mill, where Columbia has been hit hard by Chinese competitors dumping plywood on the North American market, undercutting price by as much as 56%, says Gary Gillespie, Columbia's general manager for northern operations.
Dumping is defined by the U.S. Department of Commerce as a foreign company selling a product in the U.S. at "less than its fair value." Read more >>