At ports, uncertainty mixes with high volume
Uncertainty at the West Coast ports has caused a rush of activity, according to a monthly tracking service.
Import volume at major U.S. container ports is expected to total 1.5 million containers this month, says the Global Port Tracker from the National Retail Federation and Hackett Associates. That’s the highest monthly volume in at least five years and follows a trend of unusually high import levels that began this spring as labor strife pushed retailers to import merchandise ahead of any potential problems.
With West Coast longshoremen still negotiating a new contract, retailers are bringing holiday merchandise into the country at record levels to protect against potential supply chain disruptions.
“We’re still hoping to get through this without any significant disruptions, but retailers aren’t taking any chances,” said Jonathan Gold, NRF VP supply chain and customs policy. “Retailers have been bringing merchandise in early for months now and will do what it takes to make sure shelves are stocked for their customers regardless of what happens during the negotiations.”
On Monday, about 120 California truck drivers went on strike at three major transportation companies: Green Fleet, TTSI and Pacific 9 Transportation.
The contract between the Pacific Maritime Association and the International Longshore and Warehouse Union expired on July 1. Dock workers remain on the job as both sides continue to negotiate a new agreement, and NRF has urged both labor and management to avoid any disruptions that could affect the flow of back-to-school or holiday merchandise.
Retailers have a number of contingency plans in place, and Global Port Tracker numbers show that some importers have begun shifting cargo to East Coast ports: West Coast ports handled 59% of U.S. retail container cargo in May, down from 62% in January.
CSA executive earns distinction
Cristina Bowerman, VP communications and member services with the Construction Suppliers Association, earned the Certified Association Executive credential.
The CAE is the highest professional credential in the association industry.
For the past nine years, Bowerman has managed communication and marketing efforts for associations in the building material industry. She began freelance work with the Tyrone, Georgia-based Construction Suppliers Association in 2010, accepting the position of VP in 2011. Prior to joining CSA, Bowerman worked with the Florida Building Material Association.
To be designated as a Certified Association Executive, an applicant must have a minimum of three years experience in nonprofit organization management, complete a minimum of 100 hours of specialized professional development, pass a stringent examination in association management and pledge to uphold a code of ethics. To maintain the certification, individuals must undertake ongoing professional development and activities in association and nonprofit management. More than 4,000 association professional currently hold the CAE credential.
Johnson Level launches new website
Mequon, Wisconsin-based Johnson Level launched a new website at johnsonlevel.com. The new site has a streamlined and modern look, and an "Advanced Product Search" for contractors to find precisely the right level, laser or square for the job.
"We listened to our customers who wanted an efficient way to navigate the breadth and depth of our products by creating a search tool for customers to find what they need by screening our catalog by tool type, use and features," said John Dwyer, VP sales and marketing.
Johnsonlevel.com is projected to reach 750,000 users this year. Johnson’s all-Spanish website at johnsonlevel.es will be converted to the new look this summer.
The new site also includes a video library, a live chat tool and a distributor and sales portal, supporting Johnson’s supply chain.