Led by Los Angeles with 6.8 million loaded twenty-foot equivalent (TEU) units, U.S. seaports experienced another strong year in 2018. The industrial markets surrounding them also performed well, says Colliers International.
The nine seaports showcased in Colliers’ new report on the sector finished the year with an overall vacancy rate of just 3.4%, well below the national average of 5%.
Despite these low vacancies, activity was strong, as 28 million square feet was absorbed and 35 million square feet of new construction was delivered, Colliers says.
While 2018 was robust, Colliers’ James Breeze and Pete Quinn cite “significant headwinds” in the forecast for 2019. Demand from American consumers should remain strong despite possibly increased prices brought on by tariffs, but could decline if the current trade skirmish escalates into a full-scale trade war, with downside risks to both inbound TEU counts and demand for distribution space near seaport locations.