Companies in this industry distribute lumber and plywood products, wood windows and doors, and millwork. Major US companies include Builders FirstSource, Forest City Trading Group, HD Supply (formerly a division of Home Depot), and Tumac Lumber.
Demand for lumber and plywood is strongly affected by the level of residential real estate construction. Profitability depends on efficient operations. Large wholesalers are more likely to serve large customers, with operations in multiple markets. Small companies can compete effectively by focusing on local markets and building strong relationships with customers. The US lumber wholesalers industry is fragmented: the 50 largest companies generate about 45% of revenue.
Products, Operations & Technology
Lumber wholesalers buy truck or railcar loads of lumber and other wood products from sawmills and plywood plants, and resell them to retail lumberyards, home improvement centers, large homebuilders, industrial users, and building products distributors. Only the largest companies have more than 100 employees; the average wholesaler has fewer than 20. National and regional wholesalers usually have several offices that serve local customers. Most companies operate locally, serving local customers and buying from local mills.