Business Trends

Make Capital Expenditures or Capsize Economy, Cautions Report, by Colliers

File Type: Free Content, Article
Release Date: April 2013
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train with cargo containers

Capital expenditures on transportation infrastructure are required by ports and inland distribution markets to make the most of economic opportunities from changing global trade patterns and evolving ecommerce, according to a new Colliers report, North American Port Analysis: CapEx or Capsize. Those that do not make the necessary investments risk capsizing their economies. The report also cited a recent study that showed that the United States needs $3.6 trillion in funding for infrastructure development by 2020 to remain competitive in the world.

Some key findings in the report:

  • America’s infrastructure received a D+ grade from the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE). Although ports and rail earned a C, America’s infrastructure is only as healthy as its weakest link: inland waterways, roads and airports.
  • The balance of influence in trade is shifting from Asia to Latin America, and from the West Coast to Gulf/East Coast ports. Expanding U.S. trade with Latin America, Russia and India will offset the impact of a Eurozone recession and China’s slowing GDP.
  • Latin America is the next big growth opportunity. For example, Walmart’s Q4 2012 net sales growth in Latin America was greater than in Asia — a first.
  • Globally, foreign investors are recognizing the value to be unlocked in North American port cities. In the latest 2012 Association of Foreign Investment in Real Estate (AFIRE) report, released January 2013, three of the top five global cities for investment were American port cities (NY, San Francisco and Houston).
  • The Great Lakes region is an overlooked “Fourth Coast” and the undisputed leader in bulk cargo trade. The Great Lakes ports account for 28 percent of U.S. GDP, processing 240 million tons of cargo annually.