Log sorting location decisions under uncertainty

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Date: Dec. 2005
From: Forest Products Journal(Vol. 55, Issue 12)
Publisher: Forest Products Society
Document Type: Article
Length: 3,321 words

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Abstract

In forest operations, the decision of how to transport trees from the stump to the manufacturing destination involves several considerations: cost and effort of transporting the logs or trees to the roadside; the relative efficiency of bucking in the woods, on landings, or in centralized sort yards; legal restrictions on log or tree transportation; distances to mills; and prices paid for logs or trees at the various destinations. Included in the decision is whether to sort logs of different species, grades, or other specifications at the landing or at a centralized location, often referred to as a sort yard. Centralized sort yards provide an opportunity to more closely examine log characteristics, but increase handling costs. A decision model is presented for evaluating the log sorting location decision considering the probability of making an incorrect log allocation at the sorting location. Explicitly incorporating the probability of log misallocation into the decision model permits managers to more correctly weigh log sorting alternatives, reduce costs, and identify areas for possible work improvement. For the case study analyzed in this paper, a savings of approximately $1.50 per cubic meter was found when sorting was accomplished at the landing, as compared to using a centralized sort yard, including the expected cost of mis-sorting.

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In forest operations, the decision of how to transport trees from the stump to the manufacturing destination involves several considerations: cost and effort of transporting the logs or trees to roadside, the relative efficiency of bucking in the woods or on the landing, legal restrictions on log or tree transportation, distances to mills, and prices paid for logs or trees at the various destinations. Included in the decision is whether to sort logs of different species, grades, or other specifications at the landing or at a centralized location, often referred to as a sort yard. Implicit in this decision is the impact of log sorting location on skidding production, landing size, and landing cost considerations (Hampton 1981, Sinclair and Wellburn 1984, Dramm et al. 2004). Although it is recognized that log rollout at a centralized yard with specialists allows a greater opportunity to view the log and that centralization allows specialists to more carefully examine the log to assign it to its highest possible destination, there has been little analytical work done to support including this consideration in the log sorting location decision. In a study by Hemphill (1988) on cable landings in the Pacific Northwest, up to 12 sorts were being made on the log landing. In other situations, as many as 25 sorts have been reported (Boston 2001). In other operations where logs are currently being sorted at a centralized sort yard, there is a pressure to move sorting back to log landings to reduce log handling costs.

A quantitative basis was developed for examining under what conditions logs should be sorted at the landing or at a centralized location considering uncertainty in the log sorting procedure, both at the landing and at a centralized sort yard. Figure 1...

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Gale Document Number: GALE|A140753992