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US east coast port share of Asian boxes now nearly half the total


US east coast ports continued to siphon off west coast container traffic, taking nearly half of it, a 10 per cent increase over the last 10 years while growing 2.5 times more than their Pacific rivals.

This according to data published real estate and logistics giant New York-listed JLL Inc, reports New York's FreightWaves.

East coast ports controlled 48.9 per cent of container traffic last year, up from 46 per cent in 2014 and 43.5 per cent in 2008, according to JLL's annual study of North American seaports.

JLL economist Walter Kemmsies said that since the 2015 opening of the expanded Panama Canal, many more much larger vessels have delivered Asian cargo to US east coast ports.

Mr Kemmsies also said the west coast still receives the bulk of Asian ocean imports because of its location and deepwater, but in recent years east coast ports have deepened harbours and channels, while ports in Charleston, South Carolina and Savannah, Georgia are nearing the completion of their own deepening projects.

Baltimore had vacancy rates of 9.8 and 8.6 per cent, respectively. Norfolk had a 5.9 per cent vacancy rate, while Miami had a rate of 5.5 per cent. Savannah had the lowest vacancy rate at 2.4 per cent. That was followed by Jacksonville at 2.7 per cent and Montreal at 3.4 per cent.

Mr Kemmsies said there is, and continues to be much construction at east coast ports to accommodate higher volumes.

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