Cable Logging Contract Rates in the Alps: the Effect of Regional Variability and Technical Constraints
A survey of cable logging contracts was conducted in 5 of the 8 Alpine countries, namely: France, Germany, Italy, Slovenia and Switzerland. The goals of the survey were to set a general reference for cable logging rates, to identify eventual differences between countries and to determine the effect of technical work parameters (i.e. piece size, removal per hectare, line length) on actual contract rates. With a total sample size of 566 units, the mean removal and rate were 165 m3 ha-1 and 42.9 € m-3, respectively. Both removal per hectare and contract logging rates varied considerably and the study found significant differences between countries. Switzerland stood out from the group with the highest removal (345 m3 ha-1), but also the highest contract rate (79.5 € m-3). Removal per hectare was lowest in Italy with just 58.3 m3 ha-1, and logging rate lowest in Slovenia at 29.3 € m-3. Logging rates were highly correlated with the average labour rate of each country. Technical factors such as tree size, line length and tract size explained about 40 % of the variability in logging rates. Therefore, 60 % of the variability is explained by other technical factors not included in our data and by non-technical factors, such as local market dynamics.