In 2016, the New Zealand forestry industry set a new record for the yearly forest harvest, and there is no denying the high the industry is experiencing. Riding the wave of low shipping rates, surging domestic demand, and booming log exports to China, the wood harvest hit record levels.
And this year, forestry export revenues are expected to rise even higher. In June, at the end of New Zealand’s fiscal year, they are projected to go up an additional 5.8 per cent to reach NZ$5.4 billion (US$3.7 billion), and in 2018, are slated to climb 8.8 per cent more to NZ$5.9 billion (US$4.09 billion). With the supply of harvestable wood also forecasted to rise over the coming half decade, logging contractors and transport operators across the country will remain extremely busy for the foreseeable future.
Local contractors, both collectively and individually, are currently hard at work, upgrading their safety procedure, productivity, and on-site efficiencies in order to meet the growing demand.
Part of the drive is the second biannual HarvestTECH 2017, which will be held in Rotorua from the 20th to 21st of June, and hosted by the Forest Industry Engineering Association (FIEA).
There, equipment suppliers, forestry companies, forestry managers, forest owners, harvest planners, researchers, and logging contractors from Australia, Austria, Canada, Finland, Germany, Indonesia, South America, and the United States (US) will converge in Rotorua to make it the largest event in New Zealand’s logging industry.
This year, logging steeper terrain will once again be covered in the exposition among other topics, continuing on from when it was first brought into the spotlight in 2015. Developments by local contractors, engineers, and manufacturers continue to raise the benchmark, and a number of local companies managed to successfully export their equipment and expertise to Canada, South America, and the US markets.
“Steep slope logging though isn’t the only focus for the 2017 programme,” FIEA, Brent Apthorp, said. “HarvestTECH will also cover new technologies and operating practices in small woodlot harvesting, harvest planning, mechanisation and automation. The practical use of collected harvesting data, improving data exchange and communications in more remote locations will be a common theme throughout the June technology event.”
Source: The Forest Industry Engineering Association