Helping Sawmills Manage Demand

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by | Jun 17, 2021 | News

If you’re in the lumber business, it’s hardly news that demand has been outstripping supply – largely due to a pandemic housing boom that few saw coming. With new home building reaching a 15-year high, demand for new building materials such as 2×4 lumber is through the roof.

Here at Crow, we count among our customers many sawmill operators who are working tirelessly to support this wave before it’s gone. Many have had to play catch-up. After curtailing production like so many other industries in response to the pandemic, inventory began to fly off the shelves. Demand increased unexpectedly, sending lumber prices to an all-time high.

But these operators are extremely savvy. They’ve been around for years, they know that this current boom is cyclical, and they know how to ramp up. To lend a hand, Crow has been called upon to support everything from small maintenance projects to mill upgrades and expansions – all while ensuring the mills remain running at current capacity throughout each project. At the same time, Crow has helped customers save millions of dollars in capital expenses by re-purposing current facilities and equipment on site.

Forest Product Expo 2021

For example, Crow has been involved in several log yard evaluation and design projects. These have included complete turnkey designs for outdoor log decks that incorporate overhead bridge cranes and hydraulic log loaders. Design packages have included equipment layouts; foundation, building, and machine designs; and the installation of conveyors, debarkers, bucksaws, and more.

Other services during this demanding time are related to equipment relocation projects. Here, Crow works on site for the estimation, design, and construction phases of the project. Our engineers take design input from plant and project managers and floor personnel. We also hold onsite team meetings for client personnel and vendors. In addition, Crow supports mid and long-term planning projects where clients know the goal they want to achieve, and Crow helps them design the best route forward.

All of these services are designed to help sawmills get the most out of their equipment and facilities. In fact, recent data shows that U.S. and Canadian sawmill capacity has increased by 1.4 billion board feet in the past twelve months, with even more expected in the second half of 2021. Certainly, Crow can’t claim credit for this increase, but we’re pleased to be part of the effort. With over 50 years of experience, it continues to be our honor and privilege to serve mills and lumber companies as a resource to help increase productivity and profitability throughout the industry.

From maintenance process improvements
to green- and brownfield opportunities,
no project is too big or too small.


Let us help you achieve success on your next project.
Call us at (503) 213-2013 or send us an email at


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