Online sales of skids of shrink-wrapped timber, and turns of saw logs will carry a higher profile now, as Alibaba begins trading today on the New York Stock Exchange. It's ticker symbol is BABA.

Alibaba, if you haven't heard about them yet, represents China's version of Amazon, eBay, and PayPal all rolled into one. A typical ad aimed at Chinese buyers, listing domestically originated Paulownia lumber from Shandong, reads like this:

Cheap price Paulownia log solid wood timber. Packing: a strong shrink wrap, corners reinforced, very safe packaging (plastic bands), fiberboard covering, strong wood pallets. Delivery Detail: about 4 weeks.

Logs Sell Online as Alibaba Goes PublicMultiple pages for the seller, Henan detail the moisture content (8-12%), incidence of knots and defects ("No wane, loose knots/holes, bark, rotten, crack/split, bad sawn surface and any dimensional defects") and sanding description (240 grit (face); 180 grit (back). The seller is Henan Yokingto Import & Export Co., Ltd., and links take buyers to its profile, and directly to its website. A link to the Alibaba for the Paulownia lumber is here.

Given the size of China's population, Alibaba turns up more and more frequently in global searches at Google. Hunting for logs at Alibaba brings 259,000 results from 14,000 suppliers, including Meister Log & Lumber Company of Reedsburg, WI, which advertises walnut veneer logs and white and red oak logs. A minimum order is a 40-foot container.

 

 

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