SitRep on Ports

Team in Chile just reported the following to us…

“The actual situation of the Ports is the following:

– San Vicente, working to 50 %

– Lirquen, working to 90 %

– Coronel, working to 90 %”

I’ll be able to report more tomorrow on our supply status and possible holes (waiting on a few more pieces of information so I can provide best possible insights to Customers).


Boom! We’re up and running…

Marcelo and his team fired up ForAction today; we’re up and running, and again producing WindsorONE block for our USA plants.  We even had 100% of the employees at the plant for work.

Yes, we’re still concerned about vessel space and that last “brick wall” to break through, but certainly the amazing dedication and hard work of the ForAction team getting the plant back online deserves some serious recognition!

Please help us give a congrats and a thank you to Marcelo and the ForAction team for their tireless dedication to Windsor Mill and our Customers; and for those of you that comment in the section below, we’ll continue the tribute by sending you a slug of the new WindsorONE “King of Boards” t-shirts to hand out to your favorite WindsorONE Builders… [WindsorONE stocking dealers only]

Will report back again Monday with updates sent over the weekend…

In Solidarity,


Chile Can’t Catch a Break

7.2 “aftershock” hit Chile this morning.  As a reference, the Haiti quake was a 7.0.

ForAction mill is fine, we made it through okay.  No news yet if this there’s any impact on the road and/or port situations; Marcelo was in Concepcion at the time of the quake, and is currently heading South to investigate, he’ll report back this evening.

3/10 Insights: Pricing, Supply, Carnegie

ForAction will be shipping to USA plants end of next week, and raw material will again be flowing to the states.

A previous concern had been the status of the roads from the plant to the ports.  It looks like we have found a workaround, and while we will be using this route effective immediately, it is 4 times as long, and will result in an incremental increase in freight, which we’re calculating now.  This increase will be effective on our shipments arriving from Chile on the week of April 5th, and removed when normal routes have been repaired.

A new concern: it appears that even though we’ll be able to ship at 100% capacity, we’ll be running into a lack of available vessel space, likely causing shortages in our supply beginning first few weeks in April, length of time unknown.  We are monitoring this very closely, and will continue to update all.  As you’re aware, we’re also working on domestic raw material procurement to supplement; the negative here is the raw material is coming in at a substantial additional cost, and we’re not sure yet if we can give it that WindsorONE “look and feel.”  More info on that next week.

Still working our hardest at grabbing vessel space; that’s the last, big brick wall we need to break through before the supply pipeline is again 100% intact.

The real story, however, is the incredible job that the Windsor Mill ForAction team has done… it reminds me of a quote from Andrew Carnegie:

“Take away my people, but leave my factories and soon grass will grow on the factory floors……Take away my factories, but leave my people and soon we will have a new and better factory.”

 It’s an honor to be able to work with Marcelo and his team; their dedication to the Company and to the Customer is tireless.

3/8 Insights: ForAction People, Coronel Port

Some great news from Marcelo (ForAction GM) today:

“People : Today is coming to work 90% of the people, we are cleaning and organize the mill and the lumbers. 4 people lost all the houses ( burning ).  Today in my truck I get food to lunch for 1 week for all the people.  Nobody hurt, nobody died.”

Marcelo also reports that the Coronel has begun operating, and that he’s working towards alternate routes for delivery from ForAction to the port.

Here’s a “bulletin” that we received yesterday from our insurance carrier:

CSL Bulletin

More to come tomorrow…

3/8 Insights: Plant, Roads, Ports

As you’re aware, supply from Chile for WindsorONE production is influenced by three main factors: plant condition, road conditions, port conditions.

ForAction (FA) Plant Update: In short, we should be manufacturing again beginning of next week.  Following is detail as reported by Kevin:

“Power to the mill: The power company believes that the power will be restored to FA by Wednesday.  We will bring the mill up in sections and deal with issues as they surface.  There is a good chance that the mill will be “powered up” by Monday (March 15).

Water to the mill: OK

Boiler: The replacement fire brick and cement (high temperature adhesive) are scheduled to be in Concepcion on Wednesday.  The contractor will complete the job on Thursday (1 day) leaving Friday and the weekend for it to dry completely.  They will pressure test the boiler tubes with air at the same time.  If there are no other unforeseen issues, the boiler should be ready to go by Monday (March 15) as well.

Miscellaneous jobs such as final alignment on the FJ that moved, re-alignment of one of the molders that shifted, fallen units re-stacked, kiln doors that had fallen off placed back on their track, re-piping of the Boiler water softener, etc, should be completed by early next week as well.”

Continuing the updates…

Road Conditions: We’re spending time finding workarounds for getting trucks to port; current possibility is approx 4 times further than then normal route, but we need to verify that several roads are passable by loaded truck.  Lengthy, yes; yet still good news if workable.

Region VIII Ports: No updates today from on-the-ground team in Chile regarding Coronel, nor San Vicente.  Many of you have e-mailed as to the stats of the Port of Talcahuano, and yes, it appears to have sustained substantial damage. 

Domestic Sourcing: Previously posted fiber purchases begin arriving this week, which we will process and evaluate as soon as possible.

Lastly, I’m hoping towards the end of this week we’ll be able to determine exactly if or when holes in supply might affect your purchases of WindsorONE.  While still a combination of our ability to ship from ForAction (roads and ports unknown, plant status known), and what we’ll be able to procure domestically, we’re hoping to provide a more concrete report.

In Solidarity,


3/6 Insights: Coronel Port to Open?

Yesterday, Kevin, Ruben, and Marcelo were able to make it to the Coronel port.  Here’s a picture they sent, condition appears good:

We were also able to speak to a former employee and friend that now works at the Coronel port (he was there yesterday).  He shared that it looks like they’ll be back online Monday, and able to ship!  Great news of course, let’s hope it happens.  Our friend is also going to check on the status of the containers we have at the port, and let us know their condition.

No new updates on road status.

In Solidarity,


3/4 Thursday Evening Insights – Post #6

Reporting smaller amount of info tonight.  Team in Chile spent time working in mill today, so we’ll be catching up with them over the weekend.  Expect more news ready for Monday morning reading.

Our network of people helping us understand the state of Chile includes two of our USA Manufacturing Team key members (Kevin and Ruben), the Foraction management team, supplier-partners of our log supply, business operation partners (legal, accounting, security, etc), and an extensive network of friends and family living in Chile, from a close friend of my Father’s.  We have great “on the ground” intel, and feel good about what we’re learning.

No luck in the Team getting to ports today; no new news.  Same for road status.

Continue to get more positive news about power, water, etc being restored; military seems to be helping in this regard.  LOTS of damage throughout the country though, will take a long time to get Chile back to where she was.

Colleagues in industry all feel this will take 45 days or so before material really starts flowing again.  Not the end of the world.

Success in getting a little bit more domestic material for USA Operations, which we’ll start running next week in trials.

I know it’s been a busy week for ALL of us.  I’ve heard from many of you, but if you’ve been slammed yourself and haven’t had a chance to ask any questions you might have for me, don’t hesitate to call or e-mail over the weekend… I’ll be at office playing catch up myself!

In Solidarity,


3/3 Wednesday Evening Insights – Post #5

Mixture of more goods and bads to report…

Spoke at length today with USA manufacturing team, working towards possible domestic raw material strategies.  We’ve made some progress, and have a handful of trucks of material for each plant in CA and VA.  We’ll work through these loads, see how they run through the mills.  Possible that one source may have a consistent supply of a decent volume for us.  Not a whole lot out there however; domestic suppliers have been even with demand for some time.  We’re also working to procure some loads internationally. 

Marcelo (GM of Foraction) came home today to find his water and power back on; he resides in Concepcion.  The unrest has settled as the military has come in to “manage” things.  Power and water being restored in areas, and trucks are slowly making their way in with supplies for grocery stores, fuel for gas stations, etc.  Great news.

Looks like power will be back at Foraction plant next week, and we’ll be ready to produce.  We’re going to run at full capacity, and keep building up blocks and blanks for the USA plants… hoping that when ports open up, we’ll be able to grab as much vessel container space as possible for shipment to the states.

Kevin, Ruben and Marcelo attempted to get to the Coronel port themselves today, however the traffic was far too jamming.  There’s a curfew in place that only allows activity from 10:00 a.m. until 6:00 p.m. – not much time to get things done.  They’re going to try again for the ports tomorrow.

Road repair and ports coming online are still the unknowns, and really the “big two” that affect Windsor Mill.  Will keep reporting with info on progress that we receive.

We’ve heard from many of you in regard to projections and placing future orders.  This information is helping, thank you for the extra effort on your part… it will provide better insight for all of us.

Stressing again two important points:

1)  We will accept no orders from new customers until we’re 110% confident our raw material supply is consistent and plentiful.  We are committed to our current customer base;

2)   From the “About” section: “The purpose of this Blog is to be completely transparent about the recent catastrophe in Chile, and how it may or may not affect WindsorONE supply lines, so that our customers are able to make informed decisions regarding their own supply of quality trim boards for their respective Lumberyards.”

If there are going to be holes in our supply… you’ll hear it from us first.

In Solidarity,


3/2 Tuesday Evening Insights – Post #4

We’re getting reports of lots of positives… and at the same time, more negatives than one would wish to hear. 

On the positive side, our main supplier of logs is sharing that they could be ready to begin harvest and shipments of logs again as early as next week (and actually starting tomorrow in some areas); good news for us.

On the negative, we’re hearing that many manufacturers of blocks, blanks, and other forms of raw material/products may not be online for 45-plus days: please note this is not confirmed.  This certainly speaks to the effect that many feel the catastrophe might have on our industry.

On the unknown, still not enough information on roads, ports, and other infrastructure; we’re working with our supplier-partners non-stop to get better insight into how this all might affect our ability to ship to the states.

As a result of both the negatives and the unknowns, we believe a best possible, proactive approach is to work with our current customers to prepare your next 60-90 days in projections and/or purchases, under your normal purchasing patterns.

We’re hoping that this will help give both organizations as much insight as possible, to:

1) Provide our customers with as accurate as possible information in regards to orders going forward, and

2) Help Windsor Mill manage its raw material flow, and possible procurement outside of our own Chilean plants.

Should you have an interest in this joint-venture approach, please work directly with your Sales Director (Sean, Tony, or Carl) and Executive Account Manager (Jan) to coordinate.

Conference call set for tomorrow morning with USA manufacturing teams to discuss domestic raw material procurement strategy and opportunities.  Will report back on that later.

As always, I’m available to speak to anyone directly via my contact info here: About.