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Rising tide of global trade: more containers and bigger ships stimulate demand for European seaport warehouses

London, 19 November 2013 – Growth in world trade is contributing to a surge in demand for European seaport warehousing and logistics real estate, according to new research from Jones Lang LaSalle.

European Seaports: the growing logistics opportunity highlights how changing maritime trade patterns - such as an increase in container ship size, rising global container throughput along with changing distribution channels are stimulating demand for port-centric logistics and industrial real estate.

More warehouses to accommodate rise in container trade

Global container port throughput has risen from 90 million TEU in 1990, to 590 million TEU in 2012, an increase of 550%. European port throughput volume is forecast to increase from 95 million TEU in 2012 to around 150 million TEU by 2030, an increase of 50%. This increase in container activity is set to result in an extra 20 to 30 million sq m of distribution facilities by 2030, a substantial 40-60% increase on today’s existing warehouse space within the regions of those ports that had an annual throughput of over 500,000 TEU in 2012. 

Bigger ships, limited ports

Container ship sizes continue to evolve with 18000 TEU ships now in service. These larger ships will channel the bulk of cargo through a limited number of gateway ports since only 20 European seaports currently offer the required nautical accessibility and handling capacity these ships require.

Alexandra Tornow, EMEA Logistics & Industrial Research, Jones Lang LaSalle “Seaports are increasingly competing which each other to attract or retain shipping lines and cargo owners. Ports will increasingly see their competitive advantage defined by access for the larger ships along with efficient multi-modal hinterland connectivity, allowing for efficient storage and onward distribution of cargo along with economic growth in a port’s direct hinterland.”

Phil Marsden, EMEA Head of Logistics & Industrial, Jones Lang LaSalle said: “Port-centric logistics is increasingly coming into the spotlight as it offers a number of substantial benefits such as reduced transport costs, faster delivery times and less environmental impact through reduced road travel. Growth in maritime transport will put pressure on European governments, local municipalities and port owners/operators to provide the required capacity and logistics infrastructure to support this expansion. Those port locations that can provide sufficient port-centric logistics supply to satisfy growing demand for such space will be better positioned to win than others.”

20 European deep-sea ports ready to accommodate ultra-large container vessels

Aarhus, Denmark
Algeciras, Spain
Antwerp, Belgium
Barcelona, Spain
Bremen, Germany
Cagliari, Italy
Felixstowe, United Kingdom
Gdansk, Poland
Genoa, Italy
Gioia Tauro, Italy
Gothenburg, Sweden
Hamburg, Germany
Jade Weser Port, Germany
Le Havre, France
London Gateway, United Kingdom
Marsaxlokk, Malta
Rotterdam, Netherlands
Southampton, United Kingdom
Valencia, Spain
Zeebrugge, Belgium

View the Jones Lang LaSalle infographic: