Retail cargo traffic declines
A report released Tuesday by the National Retail Federation and Hackett Associates said that import cargo volume at the nation’s major retail container ports has started to decline for the fall, and November is forecast at 1.9% below the same month last year.
The decrease is attributed to the fact that most retailers already have their holiday season merchandise either on their shelves or en route to their stores.
“As always, retailers are being very strategic with their supply chains,” said Jonathan Gold, VP supply chain and customs policy for the NRF. “Although sales are expected to be in line with the 10-year average, retailers are keeping inventory levels extremely lean and filling their stores wall-to-wall with discounts and promotions. Unlike in 2008, when the financial crisis caught everyone off-guard, retailers have a strong understanding of the consumer mind-set this Christmas.”
U.S. ports followed by Global Port Tracker handled 1.33 million twenty-foot Equivalent Units (TEU) in September, the latest month for which after-the-fact numbers are available. That was up 0.4% from August and made September the busiest month of the year as retailers rushed to stock stores for the holidays, but was down 0.6% from September 2010. One TEU is one 20-foot cargo container or its equivalent.
The total for 2011 is forecast at 14.76 million TEU, just slightly above the 2010 total of 14.75 million TEU.
Global Port Tracker, which is produced for NRF by the consulting firm Hackett Associates, covers the U.S. ports of Long Angeles/Long Beach, Oakland, Seattle and Tacoma on the West Coast; New York/New Jersey, Hampton Roads, Charleston and Savannah on the East Coast; and Houston on the Gulf Coast.
Philadelphia looks ahead to 2013 green conference
An article on Philly.com reveals that Philadelphia will have plenty of environmentally friendly projects to show off for GreenBuild when it comes to town in 2013.
GreenBuild is the annual conference of the U.S. Green Building Council, and it will enter its 12th year in 2013. The event will take place Nov. 20 to 22.
In the Delaware Valley Green Building Council area — of which Philadelphia is a big part — 152 commercial projects adhere to the U.S. Green Building Council’s Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) standard, and an additional 347 are under LEED consideration, according to the article. Moreover, several hundred houses are certified green projects.
In 2011, GreenBuild was held in Toronto Oct. 4 to 7. In 2012, the event is slated for San Francisco Nov. 14 to 16.
SFI supports green certification for Habitat homes
The National Housing Endowment has announced 10 of the 25 Habitat for Humanity homes will be certified to the ANSI/ICC 700-2008 National Green Building Standard, thanks to a community grant from Sustainable Forestry Initiative (SFI).
“Several Habitat for Humanity affiliates and other builders of affordable homes across the country have already seen the inherent value of having their homes Green Certified by the NAHB Research Center, and the SFI grant will allow us to expand the benefits even further,” said Michael Luzier, president and CEO of the NAHB Research Center.
Luzier said green certification needs to be accessible for homes in all price ranges. “That’s why our certification is more affordable and not as time consuming as other national certifications, while delivering the same third-party credibility and rigor,” he said. “There is also an NAHB members’ discount for Habitat for Humanity affiliates.”
“At SFI, we care about our communities and the environment, and we are proud to support this important endeavour,” said Kathy Abusow, president and CEO of the independent SFI forest certification program. “The National Green Building Standard recognizes wood from all credible third-party forest certification standards, including SFI, making it easier for builders to build with North American wood.”