Wood Business

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Survey Snippet #1 – Logging rate increases uneven

June 21, 2016 – Fewer than half of contractors have seen rate increases over the past three years, but how well you’ve managed to negotiate a rate increase varies greatly by both region and company size.

June 21, 2016  By Scott Jamieson

Based on the results of Canadian Forest Industries’ 2016 Contractor Survey, 41 per cent of all contractors saw some form of rate increase over the past three years. For the rest, rates were either stagnant (28%) or had declined somewhat (23%). Just over eight per cent were either too new to have a trend or preferred not to say.

However the real news is how these increases played out in different forestry regions or according to company size. In general, the larger the contractor, the more likely they were to have negotiated or received some form of rate increase over the past three years. Only 27 per cent of smaller contractors (less than $1 million in annual revenue) saw any form of increase, while up to 64 per cent of the largest contractors enjoyed some form of increase (more than $5 million in annual revenue).

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The regional breakdown is even more telling. The best place to be as far as rate increases go has been the BC Interior, where 63 per cent of respondents say they’ve seen an increase over the past three years. That number drops to 39 per cent along the BC Coast, where mill-contractor relations have soured of late. The worst place to negotiate a rate increase has been Quebec, where a paltry 17 per cent of contractors have seen a rate increase, followed closely by Atlantic Canada (23%) and Ontario (31%). Alberta sits mid pack at 45 per cent.

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Look for more news for the CFI 2016 Contractor Survey on www.woodbusiness.ca and in our enews in the coming months, with a final digital report in August and a summary in the Sept/Oct print issue. Be sure to subscribe to the enews to get every item.


The survey was conducted in April 2016 by independent research firm Bramm & Associates, generating over 230 replies to a detailed list of questions. Respondents were distributed according to the geographic breakdown of the forest industry, with 50 per cent in Western Canada, 25 per cent in Quebec, and the rest found in Ontario, Atlantic Canada, and central Canada. Within BC responses were almost evenly split between the BC coast and Interior. Many thanks to our sponsors for making the research possible – Hultdins, Stihl, Tigercat and Ponsse. Also made possible with support from the Ontario Media Development Corporation (OMDC).

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