As the global supply chain increases and the United States gears up for the Panama Canal expansion, which is set for completion in 2015, U.S. ports are a growing concern for the U.S. economy and industrial real estate markets.
The growth of e-commerce, logistics, on-shoring and near-shoring of manufacturing to the United States and Mexico demand bigger and faster cargo ships, and in less than two years the expanded Panama Canal lock system will allow the movement of container ships that are three times larger than those currently in use—bringing major changes to North American ports as well as inland transportation systems. Add to that situation such factors as the current U.S. energy boom and ongoing labor strife springing from port automation and legislative changes (including the hours of service for truckers and the reform of the Harbor Maintenance Trust Fund) and the "post-Panamax" (PPMX) decade (2015-2025) is shaping up to be very interesting indeed.
Colliers International's year-end 2013 port outlook report, "Biggie-Size It," takes a close look at North America's fastest-growing ports, port upgrade projects and the economic implications of labor, legislative and environmental issues, and presents 10 new port awards. What follows is a list of the top 10 busiest ports in the United States according to the TEUs (Twenty-Foot-Equivalent Units) moved (in the thousands) in 2013 as well as their PPMX status.