By Tina Arambulo
Seaports are a vital economic engine for the U.S. and a huge driver of demand for industrial real estate. Over the past few years, U.S. ports have undergone significant changes as the global shipping industry has rapidly evolved. In order to get products to consumers quicker and more efficiently, cargo ship sizes are growing at a faster rate than ever before. While West Coast ports are naturally better suited for this trend thanks to deeper harbors, the recent expansion of the Panama Canal has created an opportunity for more cargo to shift to East Coast ports such as the Port of New York/New Jersey, as well as Savannah, Norfolk/Virginia and Charleston, S.C.
Port of entry markets in the United States remain one of the key drivers in the industrial market. As imports have risen steadily over the last few years in many of the ports across the country, the appetite for nearby industrial space has been robust. With the explosive growth occurring in eCommerce, the demand for industrial space in warehouse, distribution, and fulfillment centers has been soaring and propelled U.S. net absorption to 115.3 msf at mid-year 2017. Those banner numbers do not occur without healthy port markets, which accounted for 24.5% of the net absorption registered at mid-year. The ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach will remain fairly entrenched as the top ports in the country. Much of that traffic flows to the Inland Empire, one of the hottest industrial markets in the country, which posted the highest leasing activity in the U.S. so far this year, followed by Greater Los Angeles with 18.6 msf.
Tina provides industrial quarterly reporting for the Los Angeles Basin (Los Angeles, Orange County and Inland Empire) and is responsible for the preparation of the quarterly market reports. She is also part of the U.S. Industrial Research practice group, working closely with the industrial management team on a national basis.