Industrial Research – Fact of the Week


Industrial fact 6-17-13


Overall North American trade totaled 38 million TEUs in 2012, led by U.S. ports with 30.1 million TEUs.

  • U.S. ports handled 79.0% of the North American container trade and the Ports of Los Angeles-Long Beach continues to dominate with a 27.1% market share in 2012.
  • Canadian ports handled 4.4 million TEUs, representing 11.6%  and Mexican ports, with 3.5 million TEUs for  9.3%

U.S. port traffic patterns reflect a shift occurring in trade patterns. The ports on the West Coast are largely focused on Asia, while those on the East and Gulf Coasts are focused on Europe and the Americas.

  • Recent growth in the Gulf and East Coast ports reflects stronger ties to the Americas.
  • Another important trend is the move towards Mexico as a transshipment location. This development has led to strong growth and a sharp increase in Mexico’s overall container traffic. Growth in Mexico (up 12.5%) outperformed the 3.2% growth at all North American ports, the 6.2% gain at Canadian ports and the 1.8% increase in the U.S.

Among the Top 25 North American ports, only two U.S. ports – Tacoma and Virginia – posted double-digit growth in total trade volume in 2012. But their growth is well behind the growth at North America’s two newest ports: Prince Rupert, British Columbia and Lazaro Cardenas, Mexico.

  • Although smaller than Manzanillo, Puerto Lazaro Cardenas has a key asset – its on-dock rail facilities are provided by Kansas City Southern de Mexico S.A. de C.V., which is a subsidiary of American railroad, Kansas City Southern.
  • Prince Rupert is the first North American port designed exclusively for intermodal rail shipments and is positioned ideally as a natural northern alternative to congested U.S. West Coast ports. Prince Rupert is closer to Shanghai than Los Angeles and is closer to key Asian markets by up to three days. The port’s impact has been greatest in Chicago, Memphis and Toronto, all of which are well connected to CN’s rail network.

About Cushman & Wakefield/NorthMarq

​Cushman & Wakefield/NorthMarq is a joint venture formed in September 2011 by NorthMarq Real Estate Services and the Minnesota operations of global real estate services firm Cushman & Wakefield. By combining the talent of both organizations at the regional level with the global platform of Cushman & Wakefield, we offer clients the best combination of regional strength and global capabilities. The result: the leading commercial real estate firm by all measures in the Upper Midwest.
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