- March 1, 2013: Vol. 25, Number 3

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Choke point: The Panama Canal expansion has potentially big implications for U.S. ports and industrial markets

by Ross Adams


In 2015 a newly expanded Panama Canal, with deeper and wider navigational channels and a third set of larger locks, will be put into service. This long-anticipated event, as simple as it might sound, has been characterized as everything from a game changer to a near-term nonevent for industrial real estate markets.

Of primary concern to those with investments in North American real estate are the expansion’s impact on international trade flows to the United States and the resulting implications for U.S. ports and interrelated industrial real estate markets.

Will trade shift from the U.S. West Coast to the East Coast, and if so, which ports and industrial markets will benefit or suffer?

The expansion of the canal’s capacity is meant to accommodate growth in that trade lane for the next 40 years. In response to this project, there are frenzied efforts and billions of dollars being spent at U.S.

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