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Sunday, April 22, 2018

National Retail Federation News

L.A. Port Contract Restores Stability to Supply Chain

“The National Retail Federation and our members congratulate the OCU and HEA for ratifying the new deal. This contract will bring much-needed stability to the supply chain, better position the ports for future growth and provide retailers the certainty they need to prepare for the upcoming summer shopping season. “Now that the labor situation has been settled on the West Coast, it is time to turn our attention to the East and Gulf Coast ports. “NRF reiterates our call on the International Longshoremen’s Association and the U.S. Maritime Alliance to quickly conclude ongoing local contract negotiations and urge them to ratify a new master contract.

'Keep Talking' Retailers Urge Gulf Port Contract Negotiators

The National Retail Federation wishes to avoid any potential supply chain disruption, delay or stoppage, which could stifle global commerce and jeopardize the fragile U.S. economic recovery. “Any kind of disruption at the ports would not only add costly delays to our members’ supply chains and other industries relying on East and Gulf Coast maritime facilities, but potentially further threaten the fragile economic recovery as we enter the peak [holiday] shipping season,” NRF President and CEO Matthew Shay wrote in a letter to the parties involved. Shay’s remarks were contained in a letter to the International Longshoremen’s Association, which represents the dock workers, and United States Maritime Alliance, Ltd., which represents the terminal operators.

Retail Container Traffic Lowest Since 2004

Cargo volume at the nation’s major retail container ports fell again in October, and 2008 is now expected to be the slowest year since 2004 as the downturn in the nation’s economy continues, according to the monthly Port Tracker report released on Nov. 7 by the National Retail Federation and IHS Global Insight. Volume is projected to total 15.3 million Twenty-Foot-Equivalent Units for the year, compared with 16.5 million TEU in 2007. That would be a decline of 7.1 percent and the lowest total since 2004, when 14 million TEU moved through the ports. The estimate is down from the 15.43 million projected a month ago, which would have been a 6.5 percent decline from 2007 and the lowest number since 2005’s 15.4 million TEU. One TEU is one 20-foot container or its equivalent.

White House Intervention Sought in West Coast Port Dispute

Jonathon Gold

“The continued intransigence by labor and management to reach a new contract is unacceptable. Retailers and the rest of the supply chain are frustrated beyond belief. “The slowdowns need to end. The brinkmanship needs to stop. The ILWU and PMA are delaying cargo and merchandise in the short-term while harming the competitiveness of the West Coast ports in the long-term. This stalemate is hurting American businesses, their employees and consumers. “If the ILWU and PMA are serious about reaching a new labor contract, they need to remain at the table.

Retailers: Short-term Transportation Bill Isn’t Enough

Jon Gold (Photo: NRF)

“Transportation funding is a long-term problem that needs a long-term solution. Today’s vote is a necessary step to keep federal transportation programs in operation, but quick fixes are not the answer. “The supply chain is the lifeblood of any retailer. Congress needs to make good use of these next few months to come up with a long-term, sustainable funding measure that provides needed stability to the programs. Any long-term bill should recognize the importance of transportation to the U.S.

Retailers Working to Minimize Disruption from Hanjin Bankruptcy

Photo: Hanjin Shipping

The National Retail Federation (NRF) Vice President for Supply Chain and Customs Policy Jonathan Gold weighs in on this week’s bankruptcy filing by Hanjin Shipping. “Retailers’ main concern is that there is millions of dollars worth of merchandise that needs to be on store shelves that could be impacted by this. Some of it is sitting in Asia waiting to be loaded on ships, some is already aboard ships out on the ocean and some is sitting on U.S. “It is understandable that port terminal operators…

Long Beach Cargo Volumes Edge up in May

Photo: Port of Long Beach

Container cargo numbers improved slightly at the Port of Long Beach in May, rising 0.8 percent compared to the same month last year when the docks were still busily catching up after several months of congestion. With cargo volumes near all-time peak levels, May’s 640,566 TEUs qualified the month as the second-busiest May in the port’s 105-year history. Imports were up 1 percent to 330,639 TEUs, exports were up 2 percent to 138,594 TEUs, and empties were flat at 171,333 TEUs, off just 0.4 percent compared to the same month last year.

NRF Renews Call for Obama to Intervene in Port Strike

The National Retail Federation today issued the following statement from President and CEO Matthew Shay regarding the strike that has shut down most terminals at the Ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach. NRF last week sent President Obama a letter asking that he intervene in the strike. “As we enter Day 6 of the strike, NRF is renewing its call for President Obama to intervene and end this work stoppage. The shutdown is already having a significant negative economic impact on retailers trying to bring in merchandise for their final push for holiday sales and will soon have an impact on consumers. The work stoppage not only impacts retailers…

Container Cliff’ Imminent as Contract Negotiations Break Down

NRF Calls on President Obama to Immediately Intervene to Prevent Port Strike. The National Retail Federation has issued the following statement from NRF Vice President for Supply Chain and Customs Policy Jonathan Gold on the breakdown of contract negotiations between the International Longshoremen’s Association and the United States Maritime Alliance, Ltd.: “It is extremely disheartening to learn that the two sides failed to reach an agreement during today’s negotiations. NRF urges both sides to remain at the table until a deal is reached. “It is imperative that both sides verbally announce their intentions to return to the negotiations. A coast-wide port shutdown would have a significant impact across all businesses and industries that rely on the ports, particularly retail.

NRF: Keep Ports Open

NRF Urges Labor and Management to Keep Ports Open Despite Rejection of LA/Long Beach Port Contract. The National Retail Federation today issued the following statement from Vice President for Supply Chain and Customs Policy Jonathan Gold in response to this week’s rejection of a labor contract between the International Longshore and Warehouse Union’s Local 63 Office Clerical Unit and the Harbor Employers Association. An eight-day strike in November and December 2012 shut down most terminals at the Ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach before the parties agreed on a tentative new contract with the help of a federal mediator. But union members on Wednesday voted down the contract.

Retail Industry Applauds ILA Labor Agreements

“Today’s vote ratifying a new, long-term master labor contract is welcomed news to the nation’s retailers, who have been on pins-and-needles for the past year due to the possibility of a supply chain disruption along the 14 East and Gulf Coast container ports. “The ILA and United States Maritime Alliance should be commended for reaching today’s pinnacle vote, and doing so without engaging in any disruption, stoppage, lockout or strike. “The retail industry would also like to recognize the dedication of the Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service (FMCS) and the hard work of FMCS Director George Cohen and his team of negotiators, who managed to keep both sides at the table to hammer out this deal. “The nation’s ports are our economic lifeline to the world.

US Ports' Retail Imports Predicted to Rise Despite Sequestration

The monthly Global Port Tracker report released by the National Retail Federation & Hackett Associates, predicts a 2.7% April 2013 retail import rise. With US Customs officials saying they hope to minimize the impact of federal spending cuts on cargo processing, import volume at the nation’s major retail container ports is expected to increase 2.7 percent in April over the same month last year. “The impact of sequestration isn’t yet fully known, but Customs officials are working hard to manage their resources and keep cargo moving,” NRF Vice President for Supply Chain and Customs Policy Jonathan Gold said. “Between their efforts to avoid delays and retailers’ adjustments to compensate, we’re not expecting consumers to see any difference on store shelves at this point. U.S.

US Imports Rise Steady after 2015 Rollercoaster

File photo: Northwest Seaport Alliance

Import cargo volume at the United States’ major retail container ports has begun its annual climb toward summer levels but is expected to be largely flat when compared with last year’s record high numbers, according to the monthly Global Port Tracker report released today by the National Retail Federation and Hackett Associates. “Last year was a roller coaster but this year we’re expecting a nice, steady climb right through the summer,” NRF Vice President for Supply Chain and Customs Policy Jonathan Gold said.

Retail Imports Wind Down After End of Holiday Season

Jon Gold (Photo: NRF)

With the holiday season over, import cargo volume at major U.S. retail container ports is expected to slowly decline through the first quarter of the year, according to the monthly Global Port Tracker report released today by the National Retail Federation and Hackett Associates. “This is the time of year when the retail supply chain catches its breath before the next big rush begins,” NRF Vice President for Supply Chain and Customs Policy Jonathan Gold said. Ports covered by Global Port Tracker handled 1.48 million Twenty-Foot Equivalent Units in November…

US Retail Import Patterns Still Uneven

File photo: Port of Los Angeles

Import cargo volume at the nation’s major retail container ports is expected to be mostly down through the summer but should see a significant uptick just before the winter holiday season, according to the monthly Global Port Tracker report released today by the National Retail Federation and Hackett Associates. “The unusual patterns seen last year in the aftermath of the West Coast ports slowdown are continuing to make valid year-over-year comparisons difficult,” said NRF Vice President for Supply Chain and Customs Policy, Jonathan Gold.

September US Retail Imports Strong

File photo: Port of Los Angeles

Import cargo volume at the US’ major retail container ports should be at near-peak levels this month even as retailers work to cope with the Hanjin Shipping bankruptcy, according to the monthly Global Port Tracker report released today by the National Retail Federation and Hackett Associates. “Hanjin should not significantly affect volume for the month since alternative arrangements to unload those containers or shift cargo elsewhere should be dealt with by the time the numbers are tallied,” NRF Vice President for Supply Chain and Customs Policy Jonathan Gold said.

Retail Imports Expected to Drop in February

Import volume at the nation’s major retail container ports is expected to drop 8.4 percent in February from the same time last year as the shipping cycle reaches its slowest month of the year, according to the monthly Global Port Tracker report released today by the National Retail Federation and Hackett Associates. “Ports and distribution centers are getting the break they deserve after the busy holiday season, but it won’t last long,” Vice President for Supply Chain and Customs Policy Jonathan Gold said. U.S.

Strong Growth in Merchandise Imports to Resume in Fall

Import volume at the nation’s major retail container ports is expected to increase a modest 1.1% in July over the same month last year but a slow summer should be followed by significant increases as retailers head into the holiday season this fall, according to the monthly Global Port Tracker report released today by the National Retail Federation and Hackett Associates. “With the economy recovering slowly, retailers have been cautious with imports this summer but it’s clear that they expect an upturn later in the year,” NRF Vice President for Supply Chain and Customs Policy Jonathan Gold said. Cargo import numbers do not correlate directly with retail sales or employment because they count only the number of cargo containers brought into the country…

Retail Imports to Increase 2.3 Percent in March

Import cargo volume at the nation’s major retail container ports is expected to increase 2.3 percent in March over the same month last year despite federal spending cuts that could slow down cargo processing, according to the monthly Global Port Tracker report released today by the National Retail Federation and Hackett Associates. “Retailers are aware of the impact of the cuts on Customs operations at the ports and are working to plan accordingly so the impact on merchandise headed for the store shelves is minimized,” NRF Vice President for Supply Chain and Customs Policy Jonathan Gold said. Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano…

Retailers Stocking Up Ahead of Holiday Season

Import volume at the nation’s major retail container ports is expected to grow 5.1% in September over the same month last year as retailers head into the holiday season, according to the monthly Global Port Tracker report released by the National Retail Federation and Hackett Associates. “Retailers are making up for the slow imports seen earlier in the year,” NRF Vice President for Supply Chain and Customs Policy Jonathan Gold said. Cargo import numbers do not correlate directly with retail sales or employment because they count only the number of cargo containers brought into the country, not the value of the merchandise inside them. But the amount of merchandise imported nonetheless provides a rough barometer of retailers’ expectations. U.S.

US Retailers Urge Speedy W. Coast Labor Contract Negotiations

File photo CCL

The National Retail Federation (NRF) informs it has urged maritime management and the union representing dockworkers along the U.S. West Coast ports to expedite pending contract negotiations and reach agreement on a new deal well in advance of the expiration of the current contract this summer. NRF believes expedited negotiations would strengthen the supply chain and provide shippers and retailers the certainty they need to utilize the West Coast ports during the holiday shipping period, which begins in July.

US Imports Rising Ahead of Back to School Season

Photo: Port of Los Angeles

Import cargo volume at the United States’ major retail container ports is expected to increase 7.3 percent this month over the same time last year as retailers stock up for the busy back-to-school season, according to the monthly Global Port Tracker report released today by the National Retail Federation (NRF) and Hackett Associates. “Now that West Coast ports have recovered from the congestion caused by the recently settled contract dispute, retailers are focused on the back-to-school season to ensure that parents can find the supplies and clothing their children need for the fall…

Container Traffic Breaking Records

Federation and Global Insight. container traffic, breaking last October’s record of 1.51 million, while September is forecast at 1.49 million. October, traditionally the busiest month of the year as retailers bring in merchandise for the holiday sales season, is forecast at 1.54 million this year. “The holiday season is the most important part of the year for our industry, so it’s essential that we starting looking at these numbers and watching for any problems as early as possible. NRF Vice President and International Trade Counsel Erik Autor said. Nationwide, the ports surveyed handled 1.3 million TEU of container traffic in April, the most recent month for which actual numbers are available. That was down 5.8 percent from April 2006 but up 2 percent from this March.

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