Reduce Manufacturing Costs to Neutralize Countervailing Duty on Lumber

posted on: Tuesday May 2, 2017

cost-1174936_640On April 25th, a highly expected decision was made regarding the lumber industry. Donald Trump imposed a 3-24% countervailing duty (CVD) on Canadian lumber entering the US. While the decision will raise the price of lumber for US buyers, the tariff is not as high as originally expected, which was up to 40%. In anticipation of the CVD, Canadian mills began raising prices days to weeks prior to the decision. With the duty identified, prices should at least, although still inflated, plateau. This allows everyone affected to plan accordingly.

The price of lumber affects a number of industries. One of the most addressed uses for lumber is home building, as the price hike could negatively affect the affordability of American homes. Another industry that relies consistently on lumber is manufacturing, especially for pallets and packaging. These are used throughout any plant, and an increase in costs for these materials makes a significant impact on expenses.

As such, manufacturers who are taking on extra materials costs would rather absorb it somewhere in the operation than compromise any competitive pricing they’ve established. Doing so requires a thorough look at the workflow. Here are three ways that an electric tug can significantly reduce costs:

  1. Reduced manpower. There are two basic ways a battery-powered tug spares you labor.
    • If you have heavy equipment or loads that require more than one person to stop what he is doing and help push or pull, you’re wasting precious resources. Attaching carts or machinery to equipment like a Load Mover empowers just one operator to handle the entire load safely and without strain.
    • If you have multiple loads going in or out of an area, a tug can easily pull a train of carts and maneuver it around a facility. The amount one person can move in one trip increases exponentially.
  2. Forklift reduction. For any horizontal movement, or times when your forklifts are used for moving rather than lifting, an electric tug can get the job done more efficiently. This reduces the repair costs and resources you spend on operating forklifts. It also lets workers move product when it’s ready, not when the lift truck operator is available.
  3. Better use of labor. In an e-commerce world, you may be employing temporary workers to cover increased demands. Power tugs require no special licensing and minimal training to operate. You can support the equipment with someone who has less experience in your environment and ensure that person is being productive.

Many manufacturers use electric tugs to improve productivity, but the benefits extend beyond load movement. These machines reduce the risk of injury for pushing and pulling tasks, whether manual or previously accomplished with a forklift. Workman’s comp and the other costs associated with injury can devastate a business. Proactively reducing these risks will prevent you from eating these costs later.

For a detailed discussion about realistic expectations of a power tug at your facility, contact Load Mover Inc. We’ll help you identify uses so you can calculate ROI and long-term savings for your business. Reach us at 952-767-1720 or