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June 14, 2024
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Los Angeles and Long Beach Ports Top CBRE’s National Ports and Logistics Index


The ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach topped CBRE’s first-ever “Ports and Logistics Index,” thanks to infrastructure that is well-suited to handle the largest cargo container ships, their proximity to Asian export markets, a strong local economy and a deep industrial real estate market, according to CBRE Group Inc’s “North America Ports Logistics Annual Report.”

“Rapidly growing demand has recently placed a strain on the Los Angeles and Long Beach ports. Although East Coast ports benefited from the recent West Coast port labor issues, we expect the majority of the lost container traffic to return to the Los Angeles and Long Beach ports over the next 12 months,” says Kurt Strasmann, Senior Managing Director, CBRE. “Even with the congestion, port activity in Los Angeles and Long Beach still grew by 4.3 percent in 2014, with a combined total of 15.1 million TEUs.”

Together, the Los Angeles and Long Beach ports account for 40 percent of the nation’s container volume flows. The two ports combined are the world’s ninth-busiest port complex, after Shanghai, Singapore, Shenzhen, Hong Kong, Busan, Ningbo, Qingdoa, and Guangzhou. The Port of Los Angeles alone handled more than 8.3 million TEUs, exceeding the volume of the Port of Long Beach by more than 20 percent.

The Ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach are also together in the midst of a new, $4.5 bil transportation infrastructure project that will upgrade terminal roads and bridges. This project is expected to complete in phases over the next decade.

The Ports and Logistics Index, which ranks the top 15 North American ports based on port infrastructure capabilities and the strength of the local industrial real estate market, includes New York and New Jersey, Seattle/Tacoma Alliance and Oakland to round out the top five.

“Although the location needs of supply chain users are somewhat fixed given existing distribution centers and customer locations, these networks are always evolving and adjusting to meet increasingly complex inventory requirements,” said David Egan, head of industrial research in the Americas for CBRE. “As ports across North America continue to address operational efficiencies caused by greater cargo volumes, labor disputes and a shortage of workers, supply chain users are exploring diversification strategies that move some portion of inbound cargo from the congested West Coast ports to East and Gulf Coast ports.”

The 6-15-ranked ports on the Index are:

6. Savannah
7. Charleston
8. Metro Vancouver
9. Virginia (Norfolk)
10. Houston
11. Baltimore
12. Everglades (Ft. Lauderdale)
13. PortMiami
14. Montreal, Canada
15. Jacksonville

When it comes to port infrastructure alone—which measured total twenty-foot equivalent unit (TEU) volume, long-term growth in annual TEU volume and year-over-year growth in TEU volume—Los Angeles, New York and New Jersey and Long Beach took the top spots, with Savannah and Virginia (Norfolk) at #4 and #5, respectively.

With respect to the real estate ranking component—which was weighted less heavily in the overall rankings than port infrastructure—the characteristics measured included a market’s total size, availability of existing industrial space, demand activity, historical and forecasted construction rates, rent growth and each market’s position in its own cycle. The markets with healthy amounts of existing and planned space for their size, and which have experienced growth during the current recovery cycle but have not yet reached their peaks, rose to the top of the list. Los Angeles and Long Beach were the top-ranked markets in this component, with Houston, Oakland and Seattle/Tacoma rounding out the top five.

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