Wood… a logistical material


Author                                    Dr.Emmanuel GROUTEL


Laboratory                         NIMEC (UPRES-EA 969) IAE de CAEN

In addition to its first-rate environmental values, to the myths and legends associated with it, to the beauty of the landscapes it generates, the forest offers us the formidable material that is wood, the only truly renewable one.

Nevertheless, forested stands are often far away from consumption areas, making wood a logistical material.

When roads are degraded, when ports are idle, and infrastructures no longer maintained, the timber logistics chain suffers. Destruction of wealth, wastage of the resource, disruption of traceability, major risks for staff and higher costs are the consequences.

ITTO/OIBT recently reported the ills Gabon is facing in these terms:

« Transport issues and delays in fuel delivery are seriously affecting mills operating far from the developed coastal areas of Gabon. Operators in the Lastourville area in east-central Gabon who rely on the Trans-Gabon Railway and on the N3 highway, to transport their production and provide fuel and spare parts supplies are experiencing problems as they have had to endure regular derailments and roadside land subsidence. It is reported that some operators are undertaking road repairs themselves as the weather has improved and are being compensated through tax reductions »*

Gabon, which has embarked on a revolution in terms of value creation on its territory as well as an innovation with regard to certification requirements, will no doubt work hard on this crucial subject. Indeed, without logistics, there is no wood. To achieve better fluidity and to reduce cost, one solution could be the public service delegation.

*Reports of transport problems in Gabon (ITTO 2020, Jan 15th)