Sawn Timber

Much of the sawn timber transported at sea comprises· softwoods, and these are used for the major purposes of building (both for joinery and construction) and for packaging. The highest quality of softwood is used for joinery and lower grades for packaging. Care must be taken during carriage to avoid mold and fungus which may cause discoloration and eventual rotting of the wood. Not many years ago, sawn timber was predominantly carried in individual odd lengths of wood, which naturally took a considerable time to load and to stow and equally long to discharge. Onward transportation (eg: by lorry) was similarly beset with delay. A breakthrough in timber handling was made, however, with the introduction of moving timber in a pre-packaged condition, standard sizes of packages becoming the norm. At the same lime many of the older measurements – referring as they do to loose cargo – have been largely forsaken for present-day carriage of sawn timber, which today is mainly transported as either length packaged timber or truck packaged timber. Length packaged lumber  – sometimes known as flush-bundled – may be sawn into individual pieces of timber each of a particular length, stacked together in such a way as to provide a packaged unit of 32 pieces measuring approximately 50 cm (20″) by 60 cm (24″), secured by wire straps to keep it in one unit, and with flush ends butted neatly together. Such units may be shipped four together, giving overall measurements of 100 cm (40″) by 120 cn (48″) with, of course, flush ends, and complete with wire straps and loops to ease cargo handling. Truck packaged lumber is similar to length packaged in all respects, except that the lengths of each individual piece of timber vary, and so only one end of each bundle is flush, the other comprising variable lengths. The development of the timber market into length and truck packaged lumber has had a profound effect on the type of vessel employed in the carriage of this commodity.