Quality Assurance and Convenient Delivery – What Makes Woodpellets.com Different

Two of the main contributing factors to what makes the Woodpellets.com experience different are – product quality assurance and the convenient delivery system. In order to explain these processes accurately, we let Joy (Quality Assurance Manager) and Dan (Delivery Logistics Manager) describe their main responsibilities – in their own words.

Quality Assurance Manager: My primary function is to work for our customers.  I am the before, during and after the order point of contact – from Customer Service, to the burn experience at home.  Basically, the service doesn’t stop with the delivery – because I’m there to make sure user expectations are met and (hopefully) exceeded.

Wood Pellet DeliverySome may call my position the least fun in the office. However, I love my job.  I get to hear the praise as well as the things we need to improve on.  This is where the Quality Guarantee comes into play. It has evolved over the years since we started, and will likely continue to improve.  Nothing can be perfect – so I am always ready with the Quality Guarantee to assist in those rare occasions where the experience isn’t what it should be.

If there is an issue or concern, I have a step by step process I work with to ensure I make your situation right.  Our products aren’t small and neither is our delivery coverage. Therefore, using pictures is the most effective way to help solve the problem.  I work with the mill to get your claim resolved quickly, and to your satisfaction.  If the issue is non-fuel related, and I am unable to assist with troubleshooting, we have a trusted network of professionals to connect you with.

 

Delivery Logistics Manager: I oversee all  of the physical movement of our products from manufacturing plants in the U.S. and Canada, to customers’ homes throughout New England and the Mid-Atlantic States.

Wood Pellet DeliveryFirst, we move product to 15 different warehouses via railroad and full truckload delivery. Then we “batch” 4-7 proximate customer orders together for home delivery on a given date. We confirm delivery timing and placement instructions with each customer before finalizing the run. Some homes have tricky driveways, or the customer has a very specific way in which he or she wants the fuel placed. That’s why the confirmation step is so important – because we want the delivery to be as smooth and convenient as possible for our customers. The deliveries are executed with a combination of Woodpellets.com-owned trucks and hand-picked independent delivery contractors. On any given day we might have as many as 25-30 of these delivery runs scheduled across our delivery coverage area.

During our busy season (late August-December), I’m mainly consumed by “fixing” all the little things that interrupt the smooth flow of product described above. There are many moving parts in a delivery system, and therefore multiple factors that could make some bumps for us. Bad weather, equipment repairs, sickness/family emergency with a driver, or something as simple as a phone call saying delivery can’t be made because a car is parked in the customer’s driveway are some common examples. That’s why it’s an exciting and ultimately rewarding experience to hear from so many customers that we have exceeded their expectations for scheduling communication and professional delivery.

 

Questions? Comments? Give us a call at 1-800-PELLETS. We’d love to hear from you!

Where are the Wood Pellets Going? A Look at Global Biomass Exports

Wood pellet mills across America are running at full capacity, yet some retailers are still struggling with supply levels. Many consumers have felt the strain this year – by being turned away or having to wait for pellets. So if mills are producing the supply as quickly as possible – where are the pellets going?

Not long ago, about 80 percent of pellets made in the United States were used domestically, largely for residential heating. Today, wood pellet heating has grown from a residential home heating alternative into an international energy and environmental super-power. Wood pellet exports from the United States have doubled since last year – with more than half the exports going to the United Kingdom.

Wood pellets import export, 2013 Map US to EU

The European Union pellet import increase stems from a goal set to obtain 20 percent of energy from renewable sources by 2020. According to the RISI’s 2014 Global Pellet Demand Outlook Study, wood pellet demand globally is projected to grow from an estimated 23 million tons in 2014 – to 50 million tons in 2024.

Due to a successful history in American sustainable forest management, the total forest area in the U.S. is within one percent of what it was 100 years ago. Therefore, because Europe does not produce enough timber to meet the high demand, increased imports of wood pellets are coming from the States. 

So – wouldn’t it make more sense for American mills to sell to neighbor retailers in the States? Well, transporting freight by ocean actually uses less than 13% of the energy of transporting the same freight by truck. Enviva Biomass, a main supplier for the UK-based company Drax, explains:

 

The US has substantially greater forest resources than Europe, making it an ideal area from which to source pellets. Ocean freight is substantially more carbon and energy-efficient on a per ton basis than trucking, which means that shipping long distances makes more sense than trucking over moderate distances. Shipping a ton of pellets from the Southeast U.S. to England results in less carbon emissions than trucking that same ton from northern Scotland to England.

 

Fortunately for residential wood pellet burners in America, many new pellet mills have been proposed or are under construction to alleviate the demand. If you’re worried about your own personal supply – check out our blog on how to avoid any potential wood pellet shortages. 

Questions? Need wood bricks or pellets? Give us a call at 1-800-PELLETS to speak to a Woodpellets.com representative.

 

Wood Pellet Delivery, Order Online!

Top 5 Wood Pellet Myths Explained

Myth #1: Hardwood Pellets are Better than Softwood

Wood Pellets

Preference for hardwood over softwood has its origins in the cordwood stove community. It has long been considered better to burn hardwood in your woodstove because it provides a longer, hotter burn compared with softwood cordwood.

The principle reason that hardwood burns better than softwood in woodstoves has to do with wood density (hardwood is more dense than softwood) and it’s lower moisture levels.

However, with wood pellets the advantages of hardwood are neutralized by the pelletizing process. Both hard and softwood material is dried to the same moisture level, of about 4-5%. Furthermore, regardless of the type of wood used to produce the pellets, the pelletizing process produces wood pellets with the same density. And once the moisture content and density advantages has been removed during the manufacturing processing, softwood comes out ahead in terms of heat and performance.

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Wood Pellet Market Update

There is only one word to describe the current market in wood pellets – unprecedented. Many of the changes that have happened in the pellet industry have been brewing for years, but the effects have really been felt by consumers since last spring. The appeal of wood pellet fuel has never been stronger, but that has driven some changes that every buyer of pellets will see.

New Stove Sales

Wood Pellet Delivery

Pellet stove sales continue to grow by leaps and bounds. The comfort and warmth generated by a pellet stove, combined with the run-up in heating oil prices and propane last winter, has convinced many households in New England to install a pellet stove. Many of the stove shops we work with in have let us know that their installations of new stoves are up as much as 50% so far this year and sales continue to be strong this fall. Anyone buying a new stove can see a wait time of several weeks for installation as the stores work to keep up with sales. These new stoves mean more people looking for pellets this fall.

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Wood Pellet Delivery Peak Season FAQs

It’s the time of year where the phones are steadily ringing, and we are talking with many new and returning customers. Due to other retailers running out of wood pellets and the time of year, our phone call volumes have significantly increased. The Woodpellets.com team is always happy to get you the answers you are looking for, so we have compiled a list of the most frequently asked questions we are hearing during this seasonal rush.

Wood Pellet Delivery1. Do you have wood pellets to sell me?

If you type in your zip code on our website, or tell us on the phone, you will receive a list of available inventory in your area. You might see “Backordered” or “Sold Out” at times. However, if we tell you on the phone or you see online that pellets are available – that means we have them. We would never knowingly sell wood pellets or wood bricks that aren’t available.

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How to Store 3 Tons of Wood Pellets in a Small Garage

stackedpelletsHaving recently purchased a new pellet stove, I quickly found myself facing an issue that just about all pellet stove owners face – where the heck do you store all those bags of pellets?

Some store them outdoors – which if fine if you provide them
a little extra protection. The plastic outer shrouding can definitely withstand a season outdoors. But who wants to trek through snow and ice to get a bag of pellets? I would rather be able to grab them in my socks.

Basements are also popular storage areas. But mine is so full of junk… I mean special keepsakes that my wife could never part with…that I literally have no room for three tons of pellets.
So I decided to make my garage work.
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What is Precision Delivery?

Pallet Jack ServicePrecision Delivery involves the use of a Pallet Jack. This special tool is a hand-operated machine that lifts heavy pallets, allowing delivery drivers to pull skids of fuel over flat, hard surfaces (a garage floor). Because of their maneuverability and small size, pallet jacks give you greater flexibility than forklifts to place pallets exactly where you need them.

Pricing and availability for Precision Delivery varies depending on the region. There is an extra fee for this type of delivery, but many customers find it’s well worth the money.

“I’m so glad I went for the pallet jack delivery! Your driver was able to place my wood pellets right next to the door going inside the house. This has saved us a lot of time and effort. Thank you”  -Estelle, MA Customer

Pallet jack wood pellet wood brick delivery
The pallet jack can move over a smooth, solid surface to place your pallets right where you need them. You just have to make sure your garage has an open, clear path in order for the driver to successfully maneuver the pallet jack. Also, it’s important to know that we cannot go down stairs or curbs, or go across grass or dirt with the pallet jack.
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The First Day of Fall is Here

Happy Heating SeasonToday is the first official day of Fall! This means it’s time for apple picking, pumpkin carving and soon…..firing up your wood and/or pellet stoves!

We can assure you that we are working diligently to get orders out to our customers as quickly as we can. However, pellets cannot be delivered immediately after ordering. (Lead times vary by region.) If you haven’t ordered your wood pellets or wood bricks yet, we strongly encourage you do so as soon as possible in order to secure your fuel and get into our delivery queue. It’s not our supply we are warning you about, because we have considerably more pellets than our customers have ordered from us, at any given time. We are just providing a friendly reminder to place your order sooner rather than later to get higher on our delivery list.

Whether you choose to stick with us this year, try us out for the first time, or order elsewhere…order as soon as you’re able. Our customer service representatives are standing by at 1-800-PELLETS, and our website (www.woodpellets.com) is always available for orders, 24/7.

 

Thank you, and Happy Fall!

How to Avoid a Potential Wood Pellet Shortage

Is Another Shortage Likely?
Last month we looked at some troubling signs that
another pellet shortage could not be ruled out again this winter. Expanding exports to Europe, mill closures due to fire, and now a forecast of another bitter cold winter are all contributing to make this winter another challenging one for pellet users.

So what are the best ways to protect yourself from the threat of shortages?
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