TEXTILES INCLUDED: Organic Exchange, a nonprofit organization that promotes organic agriculture, is expanding to include sustainable fabrics in addition to organic cotton. The decision to broaden its mission was reached after the group’s annual conference last month that drew some 240 people from 22 countries and included representatives from companies such as Wal-Mart Stores Inc., Adidas, Nike Inc., Nordstrom Inc. and Levi Strauss & Co.

This story first appeared in the November 17, 2009 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.

PORT TRAFFIC FALLS: Container traffic at the Port of Long Beach fell 24 percent to 452,418 20-foot equivalent units, or TEU, last month. The number of loaded inbound containers decreased 22.4 percent to 227,064. October is traditionally a peak month at the nation’s ports as brands and retailers bring goods in for the holiday season. Container traffic was down 24.5 percent for the year through October. At the Port of Los Angeles, container traffic dropped 8.3 percent to 647,423 TEU in October and was down 15.4 percent for the year.

MAERSK RETURNS: Maersk Line, the world’s largest ocean freight carrier, will rejoin the Transpacific Stabilization Agreement on Dec. 24. The TSA is a collective of major container shipping lines that negotiates rates from Asian ports. Maersk was a founding member of the TSA in 1989, but left in 2004. Its return will bring the number of carriers in the group to 15 and comes at a time when shipping lines face heavy losses on the Transpacific route. The industry has lost more than $3 billion carrying goods between Asia and the U.S., according to Maersk.

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