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Dominant U.S. ports vie for container trade with larger ships

Staff Writer |
In its most recent edition of “Ask the Expert,” Transwestern explores how the dominant U.S. seaports are on similar tracks to increase their share of global trade in containerized goods.

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The Ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach on the West Coast and the Port of New York and New Jersey on the East Coast have devoted the better part of two decades to deepening channels, raising bridges for greater clear heights, investing in greater terminal automation and shoring-up dockside infrastructure to handle ever-larger ships.

Authors Michael Soto and Matthew Dolly explain how industrial development is driving rent growth in both markets.

Most notably, as activity at the major ports increases, rising transportation costs and access to labor are overshadowing rental rates as the top factors that companies consider in selecting space.

California’s proximity to manufacturers in Asia has made the Port of Los Angeles and nearby Port of Long Beach the dominant U.S. entry point, receiving 50 percent of all containerized goods shipped to the United States.

The Port of New York and New Jersey, by contrast, recognized the promise of larger ships passing through the Panama Canal as an opportunity to capture new business.

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