Softwood Forest Products Buyer


Feature Story


Hampton’s 2006 acquisition of two mills at Babine and Decker Lake, British Columbia, adds 365 million board feet of SPF to the company’s annual production.
Hampton Affiliates: Investing for New Opportunities

Portland, Ore.—In late 2006 and into 2007, Hampton Affiliates joined much of the forest products industry in bearing the brunt of the downturn caused by the slowing of U.S. housing starts. But this expected cyclical downturn has not made Hampton cautious or pessimistic.

“We continue to make significant capital investments in our sawmills to improve efficiency,” explained Mike Phillips, president of Hampton Lumber Sales. “We’re positioning Hampton to hold steady in the downturn and thrive as the housing market revives in the coming years.”

In 2006, Hampton didn’t just upgrade its mills. The company also acquired an 89 percent interest in the Babine and Decker Lake Sawmills near Burns Lake in British Columbia, Canada, from West Fraser Timber Co. Ltd. The Burns Lake Native Development Corporation owns an 11 percent interest in the mills and will retain its share.

Together, the Canadian mills have the capacity to produce approximately 365 million board feet of lumber annually. The SPF lumber produced at these mills expands Hampton’s mill products beyond the company’s traditional Douglas fir and hemlock lumber. The acquisition has also enabled Hampton to add new customers in Canada, the U.S. and Japan.

With the addition of the Canadian mills, Hampton now operates seven mills. The company’s total capacity is approximately 2 billion board feet, making Hampton the seventh largest lumber producer in North America, moving up from ninth last year. Hampton remains the fifth largest producer in the U.S.

The company is also proud to operate the nation’s largest single-site producer of lumber, its flagship mill in Willamina, Ore. Hampton’s 65-year history began with the Willamina operation in 1942.

Mill byproducts fuel a new cogeneration plant that heats the Darrington mill’s dry kilns and generates electricity, which is sold to the local PUD.
The company is one of Oregon’s largest privately held companies and ranked No. 286 on Forbes list of the largest private companies. Hampton now employs more than 1,700 people in three states and British Columbia.

For all its size, Hampton remains a family-owned business that remains true to its long-term history of dedication to customers, employees and the communities in which the company operates. The company brings this same spirit of service and commitment to its new operations in British Columbia.

Hampton has also redoubled its commitment to sustainable business and forestry practices. First and foremost, the company carefully manages its 167,000 acres of timberland, employing practices that make its forests productive while protecting wildlife and fish habitats and preserving soil, water and air quality. Through uncompromising land stewardship, including participation in the Sustainable Forestry Initiative, Hampton will meet the lumber needs of the present and the future.

Hampton is also bringing its environmental commitment to its mills. The company recently brought online a state-of-the-art cogeneration plant at its Darrington, Wash., mill. This plant’s waste wood-fired boilers produce heat for new dry kilns and generate electricity, which is sold back to the Snohomish County Public Utility District.

The efficiency of the new cogeneration plant improves Hampton’s competitiveness, while also benefiting the environment. To further enhance Darrington operations, Hampton also is making a substantial investment in 2007 in a new state-of-the-art planer facility. A new boiler and dry kilns at the Randle, Wash., mill also brings greater efficiency and capacity to the company.

Hampton is now evaluating the new Canadian mills for upgrades. At all its facilities, the company continually looks for ways to improve efficiency and minimize the impact on the environment.

Hampton excels at manufacturing and supplying exceptional forest products, including specialty items such as molding, stepping, clears and vertical grain flooring, as well as commodity lumber, panel and engineered wood products. At the same time, the company also maintains industry-leading services to bring these products to customers on time and on budget.

Rail cars are loaded at the Willamina facility, the nation’s largest single-site lumber mill.
Lumber from the Hampton mills is sold exclusively by the company’s sales affiliate, Hampton Lumber Sales, which operates from the company’s headquarters in Portland, Ore. Members of the sales team work closely with buyers to meet special needs, from customized products to rush shipments.

Hampton also provides a competitive advantage to a diverse range of customers, including home builders, commercial construction companies and retailers, by offering remanufacturing, reloading and transportation services. The company’s own rail car fleet helps streamline transportation operations, which means customers are assured of just-in-time delivery.

While 2006 enabled Hampton to take its next steps in expanding capacity and improving services, it was also a sad year for the company. On March 15, 2006, longtime leader John Hampton died after battling cancer. Fortunately, he left behind a sound strategy for managing the company that bears his family’s name—during up and down markets.

“We’re staying true to John’s vision,” said Mike Phillips. “John believed that environmental responsibility, economic growth and sustainable forestry were all part of a virtuous cycle. It’s an honor for all of us at Hampton Affiliates to keep John’s spirit alive by continually enhancing our forestry and mill practices and striving to meet our customers’ every need.”






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