Thanks to all who joined us in Memphis!
We hope you enjoyed our world-class panel of experts who spoke on the challenges and opportunities of exporting forest products from inland states. Building off the previous four iterations of this conference that took place in mid-Atlantic states with ocean ports, this conference:
- Identified challenges & opportunities related to inland exporting
- Presented modes to scale business to meet international demand
- Addressed key international markets
- Highlighted success in exporting
- Raised awareness of the worldwide importance of southern forest products
Presentation slide decks and videos are now available on the Agenda page.
Inland states have unique challenges for exporting wood products. Getting products to port efficiently and at low cost are critical for success. We'll examine pathways to ports, the Memphis connection, and services that assist business move products.
Does your company produce the volume needed to satisfy the demand for international buyers? Just because the answer may be no, does not put you out of the game. We'll learn what opportunities are available for companies of varying sizes.
Getting your product to port is half the battle. Understanding how to navigate the international trade waters is another ordeal. We'll hear global perspectives on current trade climate, plus hear updates and get tips on doing business with major world regions.
Exporting from inland states can be done. Hear from select service providers, representing a range of services connected with exporting, who will share their experiences, offer guidance, and highlight successes.
About the Conference
Strong markets for forest products are critical to maintain and grow a healthy supply chain extending from the family forest landowner to the end user. Currently, domestic markets for many forest products remain less than ideal. Housing starts are recovering, but not fully from previous recessions. International markets can absorb a higher percentage of our production to keep mills operating near full capacity when domestic markets falter. Recent closures of large pulp and paper mills have changed the wood market dynamics, particularly in inland regions, so there now is a need to highlight the export of forest products from these regions. Many Southern and adjacent Mid-Western states are not located near ocean ports but have significant forest products export business and future opportunities not yet realized.
In 2011, the South Carolina Forestry Commission hosted an export conference for our local forest product mills to encourage and facilitate the growth of international markets. This conference model was duplicated in North Carolina, Virginia and back to South Carolina in 2013, 2014 and 2016, respectively.
The Tennessee Department of Agriculture Division of Forestry will take the lead hosting this southern regional conference to promote the export of forest products to international markets with an emphasis on exporting from inland regions. The goal of this conference will be to increase the number of southern companies exporting forest products to international markets. The objective is to raise awareness of the importance of southern forest products, the industry that produces them, and the economic impact the industry has on the region.