NEW YORK — Retailers' lack of optimism about the holiday season is showing at the nation's ports.
The National Retail Federation's monthly Port Tracker said container traffic at the nation's major ports has fallen the last several months. The report examines traffic levels at the ports of Los Angeles, Long Beach and Oakland, Calif.; Tacoma and Seattle, Wash; New York; New Jersey; Hampton Roads, Va.; Charleston, S.C.; Savannah, Ga., and Houston.
For October, traditionally the peak of the year, the ports handled 1.46 million 20-foot equivalent units, or TEU, representing a 3.5 percent drop from a record high of 1.51 million TEU in October 2006. A TEU is the standard maritime industry measurement used to count cargo. This year's traffic levels for October were also down 1.3 percent compared with the 1.48 million TEU handled in the previous month.
"The slow pace of container traffic growth is forecast to continue due to weakness in the U.S. economy," Paul Bingham, an economist with Global Insight, said in a statement. Global Insight produces Port Tracker for the NRF. "All covered U.S. ports are operating without congestion from the harbors to the gates and are rated low for congestion through spring.
The report estimated that November TEU traffic would fall 3.5 percent to 1.36 million TEU, marking the fourth consecutive month that cargo levels will have dropped below results for the previous year. Official statistics for November are beginning to be released by the ports and support the report's predictions. On Dec. 14, the port of Los Angeles, the nation's largest facility, released updated traffic results for November that showed the port handled 736,340 TEU during the month, a 1.2 percent decline from the 745,613 last year. At the port of Long Beach, the second largest in the nation, traffic fell 6.6 percent to 611,606 TEU from 654,997 TEU.
A grooming moment between @tanfrance and @antoni last night at the The LGBT Community Center Trailblazer Awards honoring Anna Wintour, Ricky Martin and more. See more photos at WWD.com #wwdeye (📷: @lexieblacklock)
“It was a very surreal feeling. It wasn’t like we were in the studio together coming up with it — it’s more like he discovered it and loved it. I didn’t let myself get my hopes up, but then it happened it was very exciting,” said singer-songwriter @nombe on discovering that @pharrell would be using his song, “Cant Catch Me” on his HBO documentary series “Outpost.” The German-born singer — named Noah MacBeth — talked to WWD about feminism, using art as a platform for political expression and personal style. Read more on WWD.com #wwdeye (📷: @jilliansollazzo)
This season, denim is going west – in influence. Brands like @fathersdaughterla (pictured here), @tommyhilfiger Jeans, @levis and more are opting for raw, top-stitching styles. (Styled by @thealexbadia; 📷: @ryanplett)
20-year-old British singer @jorjasmith_ made her debut at Coachella last weekend. We caught up with her and talked about her love for Amy Winehouse, working with Kendrick Lamar on the “Black Panther” album and her fashion philosophy. Read the interview on WWD.com #wwdeye (📷: @katiedaisyla)
Supermodel @helenachristensen teamed up with longtime friend and designer @camillastaerk on a joint @paredeyewear collaboration. The lineup features three styles and 11 offerings, all of which embody a vintage feel. Get all the details on how they celebrated the collab on WWD.com. #wwdaccessories #wwdeye (📷: @slovekinpics)
“It’s a hard industry to keep motivated, as well, so finding different subjects and people is what makes it worth it – when you’re like, oh, I’ve met great people, I feel like I’ve done something good, and I feel proud of having done this,” said French actress Stacy Martin on being grateful for the variety of roles she’s take on. Read @ktauer’s full interview with Martin on her her latest film “Godard Mon Amour.” #wwdeye (📷: @danieldorsa)