Jones Lang LaSalle report on U.S. seaports is upbeat

As reported in the firm’s earlier studies, commercial real estate surrounding major U.S. seaports continues to outperform the broader industrial market

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In anticipation of the Panama Canal expansion in 2014, the fight for market share of inbound shipping remains fierce among U.S. ports.

According to Jones Lang LaSalle’s fourth annual seaport report, the U.S. East Coast ports are especially competitive.

“Developers, investment interests and supply chain executives remain optimistic about our nation’s seaports,” said John Carver, Head of Jones Lang LaSalle’s Ports Airports and Global Infrastructure (PAGI) group.

As reported in the firm’s earlier studies, commercial real estate surrounding major U.S. seaports continues to outperform the broader industrial market.

“Influenced by an evolving maritime logistics industry, global and trade transformations ports see a bright long-term future,” added Carver.

He also observed that capital is being poured into seaport infrastructure from both the private and public sectors, responding to increased demand for “port-centric” warehouse and distribution space.

But the report may do little to ease the minds of U.S. port authorities who argue that more must be done to make their operations efficient.

“Despite substantial investments by port authorities and their private-sector business partners, inadequate infrastructure connecting ports to landside transportation networks and water-side shipping lanes often creates bottlenecks, resulting in congestion, productivity losses and a global economic disadvantage for America,” said Kurt Nagle, American Association of Port Authorities, president and CEO. “These congestion issues and productivity losses have the potential to stymie America’s ability to compete internationally.”

The Jones Lang LaSalle’s report, which analyzes the health of major domestic container seaports and their surrounding real estate, also reveals that:

Exports are creating inland development opportunities – U.S. exports are now creating back-haul opportunities and are driving new connections between domestic maritime ports, inland destinations and their surrounding distribution real estate markets
• Investment is pouring into ports – At least $13 billion of public investment is earmarked for port development in the next decade
• Limited options are available for large space users – Only 20 blocks of space are available for users requiring 250,000 SF within five miles of a major U.S. port

“Developers, investment interests and supply chain executives remain optimistic about our nation’s seaports,” said Carver.


About the Author

Patrick Burnson, Executive Editor
Patrick Burnson is executive editor for Logistics Management and Supply Chain Management Review magazines and web sites. Patrick is a widely-published writer and editor who has spent most of his career covering international trade, global logistics, and supply chain management. He lives and works in San Francisco, providing readers with a Pacific Rim perspective on industry trends and forecasts. You can reach him directly at [email protected]

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