The Port of Los Angeles rose to the top of CBRE’s third-annual North American Seaports & Logistics Index, aided by its status as the nation’s strongest logistics real estate market and by its healthy cargo volume growth.
After several years of strong growth, activity at the major North American ports has been somewhat stagnant due to slow global trade and disruptions in the shipping industry. However, recent trends suggest that this slowdown is temporary and growth is returning.
The expanded Panama Canal has been open for just over a year with mixed results. Larger ships are passing through the canal to U.S. East Coast ports, but the number of transits has been lower than expected. The opening of the new, higher Bayonne Bridge in New York will facilitate more port calls by mega ships on the East Coast.
For logistics real estate, the resumption of growth in cargo volumes, increased competition between the coasts, and additional mega ships transiting the Panama Canal will create additional flexibility in the supply chain and more location alternatives for distribution and warehouse users.