IMPORT & EXPORT
By Deborah Belgum | November 12, 2015
Import volumes at most of the nation’s ports are on the upswing as retailers bring the last of their goods in for the holiday season.
Talks between longshore workers and their employers have been slogging along since last May with no end in sight for a new contract that would replace the last contract that expired July 1.
As 2014 draws to a close, the editors of California Apparel News take a look back at the year’s significant news from key industry sectors such as retail, trade shows and international trade agreements. We also take a look at the burgeoning interest in made-in-America manufacturing and some of the most-read stories of the year. Plus, we remember some California industry notables in our in memoriam section.
The big apparel trade show news of 2014 was the September announcement that Advanstar—parent of MAGIC, Project and Coterie—was sold for $972 million to British trade-show producer UBM PLC.
For seven months, longshore workers have been head to head at the negotiating table to hammer out a new six-year labor agreement with their port bosses.
From domestic employment figures and the latest import/export data to retail real estate and retail sales, the editors of California Apparel News take a look at some of the key indicators for the apparel industry in 2014.
Even though the Southeast Asian nation has a population of 93.4 million people, not even 10 percent of the Chinese population, it is becoming an increasingly popular place for apparel manufacturing. The country’s wages are about one-third to half as much as those in China, and its workers are known for their fine, detailed work.
For many retailers and apparel importers, this holiday season didn’t turn out to be very merry and bright.
From the sale of trade show giant Advanstar to the high-profile federal raid on Los Angeles Fashion District businesses, 2014 was a year of surprises and contrasts.
Wary apparel and textile importers who have lost millions of dollars due to late-arriving merchandise are setting their shipping plans on fast forward even though the holiday season normally signals a shipping slowdown.
The protracted contract negotiations between the International Longshore and Warehouse Union and the Pacific Maritime Association, which employs the longshore workers at 29 West Coast ports, have stalled until Dec. 2. Charges of work slowdowns at the ports have continued.
The silver lining in the West Coast port-congestion problem is this: There will be tons of discounted winter merchandise for sale after the holiday shopping season.
Apparel importer Ashok Kumar is patiently waiting in Los Angeles for six to eight containers of sweaters and jackets to arrive by boat from Asia to stock his various clothing stores in downtown Los Angeles.
Adding to the cargo congestion at the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach, longshore workers allegedly started imposing a work slowdown at the largest port complex in the United States.
The American Apparel & Footwear Association and the China Chamber of Commerce for Import and Export of Textiles and Apparel have signed a memorandum of understanding to better understand what is happening in the apparel and textile industries in China.
For nearly two weeks now, Ram Kundani has been waiting to receive seven cargo containers filled with tops, sweaters and dresses shipped from Bangladesh, China and Indonesia to the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach.