INDUSTRIAL LOCATION FACTORS – TIMBER, PULP & PAPER

Introduction

 

The important factors that determine whether a particular place is suitable for development of industries are distance from raw material, nature of raw material, market demand, labor, energy, transport, capital availability and Government policy.
 

Timber based Industries

Factors affecting the location of timber industries are:

  1. Raw materials: The raw material needed for timber industries are wooden logs. These are high weight loss raw materials as only 40% of the weight of logs are converted to timber and the rest is discarded as waste. Thus to save the cost of transporting waste materials the timber industries are located in jungles near the source of raw materials.
  2. Rivers: The transportation of logs is difficult hence flow of rivers is used for this purpose. The rivers have to clean and pollution free. Thus transportation also determines the location of timber factories.
  3. River direction: This should be towards the market.
  4. In temperate forest the commercial exploitation is easier as small number of species are located in a region. Softwood trees are found that are easier to chop.
  5. The forest areas are connected by roads. Ground is covered by snow making it easier to push logs.
  6. The winter seasons make agriculture tough. Hence farmers find lumbering as suitable alternative. The lumbering activity is highly mechanized due to which small manpower is needed.
  7. The proximity to markets e.g. US meant that demand would be there.
  8. Government policy on Silviculture and strict regulation of timber industry ensure that reforestation takes place and forests grow back.

 

Lumbering in tropical regions is difficult as:

  1. Unlike temperate regions tropical forests have large number of tree species in a particular location. This made commercial exploitation tough.
  2. The hardwood trees found in such areas are difficult to float on water and thus difficult to transport.
  3. The market areas are also far from these regions.
  4. Transportation of timber to market is difficult due to inadequate facilities.

Paper and Pulp Industry 

Canada is one of the major newsprint producers of the World.

Factors:

  1.  The forest area is large enough to supply timber needed for the pulp and paper mills.
  2.  The fast flowing rivers ensure availability of cheap hydro-electricity and so pulp and paper mills that are highly mechanized can run without problems.
  3.  Due to the low population density of Canada the availability of labor is a problem but high mechanization means that industry can be located even in remote regions.
  4.  The rivers ensure fast transportation of timber to the factories and so easy availability of raw materials for the industry.
  5.  The World’s largest consumer of paper is US and so paper manufacturers are assured of good demand.

Pulp and paper industry developed in Britain too due to cheap pulp imports from neighbouring countries. The pulp and paper mills were located at ports to minimize transportation cost. Norway, Sweden and Finland too have a good production of paper due to presence of rivers for transportation, availability of cheap hydro-electricity and mechanization due to labor shortage.

Commercial Fishing Industry

The fishing industry is highly developed in the Northern Hemisphere in places like North America, Europe, Japan and Norway.

Factors:

  1. Plankton growth is needed for fishes to feed on. Plankton grows in continental shelves as the sea is shallow and sunlight can penetrate till the bottom. Planktons also thrive in coastal waters due to high mineral content  and prefer cooler water.The best fishing grounds are located near continental shelves. The indented coastlines in the Northern hemisphere means a larger continental shelf and more fisheries.
  2.  The other places where fishing grounds of the world are located where hot and cold currents meet like Off the coast of Japan and US,Canada coast.
  3. Market for fish was high in mountainous regions of Asia and Europe.The low scope for agriculture made fish the chief diet in these regions. The demand for cod liver oil was great,whale oil was a chief source of fuel. Also since fish gutting caused significant weight loss the processing was done near the vessels or around the coastal plains.
  4. The other factors are temperate climate is suitable for preservation of fish, indented coast provides site for ports and hilly terrain makes it unsuitable for agriculture so people prefer fishing.
  5. The lack of capital for investment in mechanized boats and large trawlers isn’t available in tropics so fishing industry not developed.
  6. The tropical fishes are of multiple varieties but in small groups so commercial exploitation easier. The oil content of tropical fishes is higher so less desirable for eating.

The reason why fishery is developed in Northern hemisphere is also since the north has a higher population and so more demand, it also has larger continental shelf.

 

Fig 1: Continental shelf of the world

Major fishing grounds on World

Fig 2: Major fishing grounds on World

 

Questions for UPSC Mains

Explain the reasons for the location of pulp and paper industry in Canada and US

Explain the reasons for the why fishing industry is well developed in Northern hemisphere

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