Favourable outlook for many US ports

Logistics specialist Descartes sees a bright 2019 for most major US ports, although not all will escape the pressures of rising volumes on infrastructure constraints.

Brendan McCahill, senior vice president trade data content at Descartes, predicts a continued uptick in cargo for New York/New Jersey as its investment in raising the Bayonne Bridge pays off.

Philadelphia is said to have “reaped some reward” from building up its refrigerated cargo ability, while nearby Wilmington seems to have noted the development and is exploring its own expansion plans for these specialised cargoes.

Wilmington has employed new marketing employees and is ambitious in its growth plans centred on congestion-free access to the lower Mid Atlantic and northern Southeast market.

Georgia and South Carolina’s proposed bi-state facility in Jasper County looks set to continue to grow the influence and size of the Savannah area as a port.

A more established joint venture combining Seattle and Tacoma appears to be “well on the way to maximising their space and staying focused on growth for the future”, said Mr McCahill.

However, the Los Angeles and Long Beach port complex is expected to continue to “feel the pinch of high volume” coupled with an ongoing need to expand infrastructure within their region.

Mr McCahill noted that major US ports will need to continue their focus on their ability to develop land for terminal operations in 2019, as well as expanding their catchment areas by wedding infrastructure to the port. Warehouse space will also need to be secured within a 100-mile radius to accommodate distribution, consolidation and deconsolidation.

“A one-year outlook is not how a port operates, but rather with five- and 10-year master plans,” said Mr McCahill. “These have been in place, capital spent in the few examples noted above, and many US ports continue to search for ways to expand enhance facilities in order to have year-on-year growth that complements expanding global trade.”



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