Retail container imports expected to rise 4.8% in June
Washington, D.C. — Import cargo volume at the nation’s major retail container ports is expected to increase 4.8% in June compared with the same month last year, and year-over-year increases are expected to continue into the holiday season shipping cycle, according to the monthly Global Port Tracker report released today by the National Retail Federation and Hackett Associates.
“Retail sales have seen 22 straight months of year-over-year sales increases, and these import projections suggest retailers should see growth into the two-year mark and beyond,” NRF VP for supply chain and customs policy Jonathan Gold said. “Cargo numbers don’t correlate directly into sales numbers, but they are an indicator of how much retailers think they can sell.”
U.S. ports followed by Global Port Tracker handled 1.23 million Twenty-Foot Equivalent Units (TEUs) in April, the latest month for which after-the-fact numbers are available. That was 3.9% from March and 1.5% from April 2011. (One TEU is one 20-ft. cargo container or its equivalent.)
May was estimated at 1.29 million TEU, up 0.5% from a year ago, and June is forecast at 1.31 million TEU, up 4.8% from the same time last year. July is forecast at 1.36 million TEU, up 2.5%; August at 1.42 million TEU, up 7.3%; September at 1.45 million TEU, up 9%, and October at 1.53 million TEU, up 19.9% over unusually low numbers last year.
The first half of 2012 should total 7.3 million TEU, up 2% from the same period last year. The total for 2011 was 14.8 million TEU, up 0.4% from 2010’s 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.
Santa Monica Place awarded LEED Gold
Santa Monica, Calif. — Santa Monica Place, the open-air shopping center in downtown Santa Monica, Calif., has been awarded LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) Gold certification from the U.S. Green Building Council.
“We have long said that the most sustainable building is one that already exists, and our decision to reuse and redesign the existing structure into what you see today – a three-level, open-air property with views, fresh air and plenty of sunshine – was an essential step toward LEED certification," said Art Coppola, chairman and CEO Macerich
By recycling the existing structure into the current Santa Monica Place, Macerich turned a climatized indoor mall into an outdoor center, reducing/offsetting 3,060,024 million kWhs energy, and during construction, diverted more than 90% of construction, totaling 68,519,409 lbs., from landfills. In terms of the property’s ongoing operations, Macerich makes use of “14 Points of Presence” (POPs) throughout the property to integrate operational disciplines, such as energy management, metering/submetering, UMS, CCTV, access control, Wi-Fi, voice over IP, digital signage, concierge, valet and parking management services into a single, robust infrastructure. The center also incorporates water-efficient landscaping, a green roof element and many other sustainable property features.
Santa Monica Place’s LEED Gold certification comes in the Core and Shell category, which reflects the role of a shopping center developer with respect to individual tenants and their own store build-outs.
Santa Monica Place features approximately 550,000 sq. ft. on three levels.
Ikea to install solar panels on two DCs
Conshohocken, Pa. — Ikea has announced plans to install solar energy panels on two distribution centers in the Eastern United States. Installation will occur this summer on the chain’s center in Perryville, Md., and Westampton, N.J. Both projects will rank among the largest commercial rooftop solar installations in the United States, and their implementation will extend the Ikea solar presence to nearly 89% of its U.S. locations.
Collectively, the two distribution centers will total 4.92 Megawatts (MW) of solar-generating capacity, more than 34,000 panels, and an annual output of 5,933,200 kilowatt hours (kWh) of electricity – the equivalent to reducing 4,509 tons of carbon dioxide (CO2) – equal to eliminating the emissions of 802 cars or providing electricity for 510 homes yearly.
Ikea will own and operate each of its solar PV energy systems atop its buildings – as opposed to a solar lease or PPA (power purchase agreement).
Ikea already has 17 U.S. solar energy systems operational with 20 more underway. Installing panels atop these two additional locations will increase the company’s U.S. solar presence to nearly 89% and will result in a total generating capacity of 38 MW in the United States.
“We are excited at the opportunity to increase our U.S. solar presence further with solar energy systems atop these two east coast distribution centers,” said Mike Ward, Ikea U.S. president. “With only 44 locations nationwide, we try to contribute whenever and wherever possible to creating a better everyday life for the many. These plans for installing solar panels on the roofs of two additional distribution centers demonstrate that our sustainable commitment extends beyond just stores, into all facets of the retail operations.”