Wood Business

Features Harvesting Logging Profiles
Survey Snippet #12 – Logger succession planning

Sept. 6, 2016 - We discovered last week that the industry in Ontario, the BC Coast, and to a lesser extent Atlantic Canada is particularly challenged with an aging contractor force. Given that many will retire within the next five or 10 years, what are their plans for the business?

September 6, 2016  By  Scott Jamieson

Do most have succession plans in place, do they involve their children, and if not, what do they expect to happen to the businesses many have spent a lifetime building?

The short answer is not much. Just over a quarter (27%) expect children to take over, while nine per cent have managers or staff interested in taking over. That leaves almost two-thirds with no real plan at all. Almost a third (32%) say they have no plan, while 22 per cent expect to auction their gear off. A further 12 per cent hope to sell to another contractor.
The regions with the largest number of loggers planning to leave the industry within 10 years (BC Coast, Alberta, BC Interior) also seemed to have the foggiest succession plans. Almost 40 per cent of contractors in Alberta and Ontario have no succession plans at all. In Alberta, a further 30 per cent plan to auction their gear, meaning less than a third have any real succession plan that would benefit the industry.

When it comes to NOT wanting children to take over, loggers in the BC Interior and Coast lead the way (44% and 45% respectively, compared to 15% to 23% in other provinces). Just a quarter in BC have any plans that involve their children. Another low point is Atlantic Canada, where 64 per cent of loggers either have no plans or hope to auction gear and shut the company down.
The most likely place for a logger’s children to take over the business is in Quebec, where almost 40 per cent expect their children to assume control (although given the relatively young age of Quebec’s contractor force, 43 per cent have yet to make any succession plans).Next week Survey Snippet #13 looks at perception of what’s great about being a contractor, and what needs to be improved.

Missed the last Survey Snippet #11 on logging’s next generation? See it here.


Find 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 late September 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 for Canadian Forest Industries 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 percent 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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