Last week, Scott Sweat and I spent two days in Denver performing due diligence on the Dividend Capital and the Industrial Income Trust. We hope to share the information we obtained with some of you at a Client Education Event in October. One of the most fascinating elements of the presentations was by Curtis D. Spencer, the President of IMS Worldwide (pictured below). He is an expert in logistics and intermodal shipping trends, ports, inland ports and rail-served logistics.
I have to admit that I rarely ponder how all the “stuff” we see in stores or receive by UPS or FEDEX gets to us. Among the terms that Scott and I can now bandy about are “TEUs” – 20’ tractor trailer loads, or “truck equivalent units” and “FEUs” – 40’ “forty foot truck equivalent units”. Most items produced in the United States go through four warehouses from production to store shelves or doorstep. (let’s not even talk about drones yet!)
Why does all this matter? With the widening of the Panama Canal, and the dredging of many east coast harbors, the method for moving goods produced in the United States, and those items imported from other countries is about to change dramatically. With the widened lock system on the Panama Canal, and deeper harbors, most ships in the future will be built large enough to carry 8,000 containers. There will even be many “super” ships, designed to carry 13,000 containers. This will change the patterns of where goods enter and leave the country, and therefore, where we should look to purchase warehouse real estate and areas to limit or avoid. This is all part of our efforts to provide the best possible information and choices to our clients.
By Frederick Baerenz
President & CEO