Will Ocean Shipping Damage Teak?

A sawmiller worries that a load of teak he has ordered from a South American supplier may suffer mold damage en route. The feedback indicates he should relax. December 1, 2005

I have a customer who wants to ship a load of plantation-grown teak to this area for me to dry and then market. He says it'll probably be on a ship for 15 days or so (from South America). It will be sawn and packed there. I expressed my concern that this green material will be dead packed for, could be, 20 days. Are my fears warranted with teak under these conditions? If so, I suppose I should ask him to air dry for a while or send stickered (though increasing the bulk packages might be cost prohibitive). Any info would be greatly appreciated.

Forum Responses
(Sawing and Drying Forum)
From contributor T:
I do not know what is usually done, but I also do not know what you fear. Dead stacked and bound, it is doubtful the lumber would warp or move much. And I doubt blue stain or similar is a risk with teak, so what's the problem? Shipping on stickers is asking for trouble.

From contributor D:
I get wood from all around the world. Some is en route at the moment from Australia. All has to be fumigated before it's shipped to the US. The stuff from Australia was sealed in plastic after it was disinfected. I had a container full from New Zealand that was fine until I unpacked it in the summer heat. You have to have a special import permit from US Dept. of Ag to get it through customs legally.

From the original questioner:
I should have been more specific. What I'm really worried about is mold growth or stain. As far as being fumigated, the importer will be handling this and I never thought about it, but maybe this would head off any of these kinds of problems.

From contributor D:
That's right. I have received wood that was fumigated, dead packed and wrapped in plastic and it wasn't moldy. After you open the packs to air, you have to be ready for mold.

From contributor R:
I've imported plantation teak in the log form in 40' containers and had great success sawing it with minimal loss and great yields.