Russian Cut Stock Company Prospers While Supplying European Pallet Makers
Russian sawmill that manufactures cut stock for European pallet manufacturers reaps the benefits of the country’s growing economy
Date Posted: 9/1/2004
PSB-GEM-HOLZ is based in the port city of
PSB-GEM-HOLZ, which was featured in a European sawmill and pallet plant tour organized by the Canadian Wood Pallet & Container Association-ACMPC last summer, specializes in making softwood deck boards for European pallet manufacturers. The company’s cut stock is used in the making of CHEP pallets and Europallets.
Boris Strogiy and his son, Nikita, owners of the company, hosted the Canadian-sponsored tour group to their plant. By e-mail, Nikita, who was educated partly in the
The company was started as a joint venture between a German pallet manufacturer and Russian investors in 1995, and Boris was hired to manage it. Boris and Nikita acquired a 30% share in the company in 1999, buying the Russians’ interest, and in 2002 purchased the remaining interest from the German owners to become sole owners.
PSB-GEM-HOLZ exports its entire production of pallet cut stock. Apparently, there is little demand for pallets in
The company’s annual sales have increased six times since 1995, according to Nikita. “I guess our business has grown up together with the whole Russian economy,” he wrote. However, despite
There is little private ownership of Russian forest lands. PSB-GEM-HOLZ leases timber rights on government land, and the agreements specify how much timber may be harvested. The company has its own logging crews and trucks to cut and transport timber, and it also buys logs from suppliers.
At its sawmill, PSB-GEM-HOLZ processes softwood logs ranging from about 5 inches to 14 inches in diameter and in lengths ranging from about 13 feet to 19 feet long. Logs arrive in the yard by truck and rail and are unloaded by a crane and sorted by diameter into eight categories. The logs are debarked by a Valon Kone debarker, go through a metal detector, and are measured by a computerized electronic system and then sorted and stored in inventory.
The company’s sawmill was equipped by Shumacher GMBH in
PSB-GEM-HOLZ employs about 95 people in the sawmill and about 70 workers in its logging division.
The presence of the Finnish sawmill businesses represents competition – for raw material – for PSB-GEM-HOLZ. “I guess having these companies around might be our biggest challenge in the future in terms of the log supply,” Nikita noted. “They need a lot of timber…I think we should add more logging operations into the business to secure as much timber as possible.”
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