Amid the myriad variables that influence lumber pricing, the final one that we’ll consider is shipping. It may not be the main factor in pricing, but it can definitely be a significant one.
Consider Shipping Fees
Sometimes pricing is figured without including shipping charges, only to have them tacked on in the end. Other times, they’re simply figured into the estimate given. If you’re shopping around and contacting a variety of lumber dealers, it’s important that you’re comparing apples to apples — or, rather, boards to boards. To make sure each lumber supplier is including shipping fees in your estimate, you’ll have to do something simple but important: ask. Often, when lumber customers are quoted vastly different amounts for the same order, it’s because one dealer is including shipping fees, while the other is not.
Realize Differences in Shipping
Some lumber dealers have more control over shipping costs and timelines than others. For dealers that utilize common carriers for their shipping, not only will shipping fees often contribute to a higher total price, but shipping results may be less than desirable. The driver will be unlikely to offer help with unloading lumber and even less likely to make allowances for a job site that isn’t accessible to tractor trailers. If a specialty truck and connected loading and unloading is required, added costs will be accrued.
Save with Combined Shipping
J. Gibson McIlvain Lumber, for instance, has its own fleet of trucks, allowing shipping fees to be figured into overhead costs and bundled into the price of the lumber. Not only does that bring the overall price of your lumber order down, but it also assures you that lumber professionals will be loading and unloading your lumber in a way that will allow it to arrive on your job site in the best condition possible.
Because J. Gibson McIlvain can supply you with all the lumber and lumber products (including plywood and millwork) you need for your job, you’ll also save valuable time, money, and frustration by working with a single supplier and having your lumber order arrive in a single shipment.
At the end of the day, only you can decide what’s more important: the best price, or the best product. Our guess is that you’ll find it more important to secure lumber that meets your customer’s precise requirements and expectations instead of saving them as much money as possible. However, if you can carefully choose the timing and other details of the order, you can probably save some cash, as well.
The next time you place a lumber order, keep in mind that it’s a conversation. Be prepared to ask and answer questions, and you’ll put yourself in the best place possible to make sure your expectations and those of your customer end up being exceeded.
Learn More About the Lumber Industry
• Should You Shop for Lumber or a Lumber Supplier?
• Why Importers of Record Are Important
• Complying with Lumber Regulations
J. Gibson McIlvain Company
Since 1798, when Hugh McIlvain established a lumber business near Philadelphia, the McIlvain family has been immersed in the premium import and domestic lumber industry. With its headquarters located just outside of Baltimore, the J. Gibson McIlvain Company (www.mcilvain.com) is one of the largest U.S. importers of exotic woods.
As an active supporter of sustainable lumber practices, the J. Gibson McIlvain Company has provided fine lumber for notable projects throughout the world, including the White House, Capitol building, Supreme Court, and the Smithsonian museums.
Contact a representative at J. Gibson McIlvain today by calling (800) 638-9100.
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