Other companies have done it. Forest Marketing Enterprises even has dabbled in it since 2002. But the Everett-based timber company made it a big part of its business model last year and is now getting recognized for the effort.
Forest Marketing, better known as Formark, started exporting millions of board feet of logs to Asia in shipping containers. Usually, logs get transported overseas in bulk ships. Formark is packing logs into containers and putting them on container ships.
“I think the thought was Del Monte green beans in one end and canned green beans out the other,” said Eric Warren, president and CEO of Formark. “We’re just doing it with logs.”
Shipping containers come from Asia filled with goods and then are typically shipped back empty. By filling these containers with logs, Formark is able to make smaller shipments of logs, which are more appealing to smaller mills in Asia. It’s also increasing the revenue of freight companies and ports while decreasing port congestion.
That’s why Warren has been chosen as the Small Business Administration Exporter of the Year for the Pacific Northwest including Alaska, Idaho, Oregon and Washington. He is one of 10 finalists for the Small Business Administration National Exporter of the Year. The winner will be announced in May.