The Manufacture of Wooden Containers
This report focuses on the manufacture of wooden containers in South Africa. According to the Fibre Processing and Manufacturing SETA, there are 50 large, 53 medium and 516 small companies that produce wooden pallets, boxes, crates, bins, cable drums and wine barrels. Total employment in the wood products sector stood at 19,485 in 2014, while sales figures for products of wood were R1.712bn in April 2016, according to Statistics South Africa.
Challenges and opportunities
Challenges faced by the wooden container manufacturing sector include rapidly rising input costs and increasing imports of wooden wine barrels. There are also many fly-by-night companies that come and go, supplying pallets at unsustainable prices. However, the industry is becoming more regulated. Manufacturers providing wooden containers for the export of fruit must be registered with the Department of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries (DAFF), while sawmills are required to cut wood so there are no fault lines. Opportunities exist in the manufacture of wooden products used in the export of vehicles and vehicle components, a section of the manufacturing sector that is showing growth.
The Manufacture of Wooden Containers describes current conditions in the local sector and factors influencing the success of the industry. The report profiles 23 companies including market leader in the wood products sector, York Timber Holdings Ltd, which employs 2,724 people in its processing plants where softwood logs are converted into a wide range of timber products for the construction, furniture, cable drum and pallet industry. Also profiled are small, stable companies that have been in business for several decades such as Natal Box Factory CC that manufactures 360,000 pallets per annum and Tonnellerie Radoux (SA) (Pty) Ltd t/a Radoux, whose 11 employees are involved in the manufacture of 1,500 oak wine barrels every year.