The efforts of timber e-marketplace Lignus have been endorsed by the forestry industry. It has won this year’s Forest Research Technology Innovation Award.
The award, administered by the Forest Industry Engineering Association, was presented to Lignus at the association’s annual conference on May 31.
Lignus is web-based and has a publicly accessible website, but the trading operation is private and protected by 128-bit encryption, with nothing being transmitted by email.
Membership is free but is restricted to commercial players in the timber industry, with approximately 200 from 20 countries signing up so far. The only source of revenue is a 1% fee charged to sellers.
Lignus co-founder John McVicar and his brother Rodney began working on Lignus in 1999. The system was developed with Jade.
They left the McVicar family timber company, McVicar Timber Group, in their father Gary’s charge in order to concentrate full time on Lignus.
The first transaction took place on October 3 when New Zealand company Pinepac sold a shipment of timber to Sydney-based Simmonds Lumber.
McVicar admits Lignus is not yet profitable.