Wood Purchasing News


Feature Story


Expertise In Foreign Markets Help NHG Overcome Today’s Challenges

Guy Goodwin standing next to a group of Afrormosia logs in West Africa.
By Michelle Keller

Surrey, UK- Established by Nick Goodwin, a 40-year veteran of the industry, NHG Timber offers an extensive range of diversified wood products and currently trades in over 67 countries. In 2008 alone the company sold 30,000M3 of timber products sourced from West Africa in 22 different species.

Servicing buyers and suppliers alike, NHG Timber has solid relationships in five wood producing continents.

Sourced from Europe, North America, Africa, South America and the Far East, hardwood and softwood lumber, plywood, decking, semi-finished products, flooring and logs are among the numerous products offered by NHG Timber.

At the core of the company’s global timber trading is Africa. With 34 years of experience trading in this region, Nick Goodwin has built solid relationships and expertise in what has traditionally been known as a challenging continent. By building alliances throughout the years, NHG Timber has the experience and the knowledge to handle the many diverse challenges this market offers.

With 16 employees, the staff at NHG Timber Ltd. are dedicated to serving the needs of both buyers and suppliers.
After spending several years in West Africa, Goodwin began NHG Timber Ltd. in 1981. “Originally the business started because I’d been in Africa for seven years. Thirty four years later, we are still trading in Africa and it is the heart of our business,” Goodwin said. “Obviously we’ve diversified over the years but that’s how we started and it’s still an integral part of the business.”

Routine visits to West Africa strengthen relationships and keep the people of NHG current with production capabilities as well as the changing market requirements.

Species available from this region include Sapele, African Mahogany, Afrormosia, Bubinga, Wenge, Sipo, Iroko, Kosispo, Ayous, Okoume, and Dabema.

Whereas Africa is at the company’s heart, NHG has close connections with North America. The company sources hardwood lumber in species such as White Oak, White Ash, Red Oak, Cherry, Walnut and Hard and Soft Maple.

Dealing only with quality mills the firm trades with all five regions: southern, Appalachian, northern, central and the western regions.

Guy Goodwin atop bundled lumber prepared for shipment.
Clear grade softwood lumber sourced from North America is marketed to Europe and the Middle East. Species include Western Red Cedar, Douglas Fir, Hemlock and Southern Yellow Pine.

While Brazil is conventionally the main manufacturer of hardwood products in South America, NHG Timber also sources consistent quality species such as Cumaru, Marupa, Massaranduba, Ipe and Jatoba from Chile, Bolivia and Peru.

Both buying and selling in Asia, the firm has developed a two-way partnership
specifically in but not limited to China. Species such as Dark Red Meranti, Yellow Balau, Keruing, Nyatoh, Jelutong, and highly sought Teak are obtainable from this region through NHG Timber.

In Europe, long-established suppliers of European Oak, Beech and Ash are located in France and Germany. NHG Timber is now extending procurement of North American species into European countries.

NHG Timber provides continuous monitoring of supply at source, global market knowledge and a range of product and supply possibilities to meet specific buyer requirements. With specific services for both suppliers and buyers, long-term relationships are developed and supported by mutual trust and professionalism.

Lumber is graded, procured and certified before it receives the NHG Timber Ltd. logo.
On the supplier side the company offers full marketing support, guaranteed payment, and promotion of new products, problem resolutions and continuous business.

With comprehensive knowledge in many markets, the firm provides suppliers with buyer requirements, and represents suppliers promoting a wide range of products to a variety of markets.

The family operated business continues to expand; increasing supplier relationships while broadening product selections.

With a total of 16 employees, key personnel include Goodwin’s sons, Guy who along with Nick Goodwin and Karen Jolly, are responsible for sales in West Africa; Ben Goodwin, procurement and sales for European hardwoods; Stuart McBride, North and South American procurement and sales; and Ben Jenn, procurement and sales of hardwoods in the Far East. Each trader travels to his/her territory three months out of the year.

NHG Timber is committed to the environment and environmental issues. A member and firm supporter of the UK Timber Trade Federation in the United Kingdom, NHG is committed to sourcing responsibly with an association that monitors suppliers for environmental performance. Members of forestry stewardship initiatives such as the Tropical Forest Foundation of Africa, South America and South East Asia, they support stewardship efforts in all regions they trade in. NHG Timber is also a member of the IWPA, the Woodland Heritage Trust and TRADA.

Lumber is protected from the elements until it is ready for shipment.
Goodwin attributes his success to strength of relationships with suppliers and customers alike and an approach to business 24 hours a day 7 days a week. “We work with suppliers very closely and sell a diverse range of products throughout the world market. If we say we’ll pay somebody in 24 hours or 30 days, they are paid exactly on due date, never a delay. I think that’s a strong message, especially in these times,” he said.

While 2008 was another record year for NHG Timber Ltd., Goodwin, a seasoned trader comments on the global economic situation for 2009. “It will be a difficult year. A lot of people have not seen trading conditions like this, I see it as the worst I’ve personally experienced since 1974 but I anticipate we’ll come out of it stronger. Our staff is trained with a “can-do” attitude. Our company is built on tenacity. We never have problems, only challenges.”

For more information about NHG Timber Ltd. and its products and services visit their website at http://www.nhgtimber.com, email at sales@nhgtimber.co.uk or contact them directly at +44 (0) 20 8651 4030.

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