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Cornell Real Estate Review

Abstract

Industrial real estate in the U.S. is experiencing the one of the longest and strongest expansions on record. The expansion is being fueled by e-commerce companies such as Amazon, and the trend is likely to increase as retailers and logistics services focus on improving last mile delivery. Despite analysts’ optimistic forecasts for industrial real estate, however, U.S. state and federal policy makers have not adequately invested in the country’s maritime and intermodal infrastructure in preparation for either the increased traffic e-commerce has facilitated, or the expansion of the Panama Canal (Economist, 2013). Congress can aid the expansion by presenting a bill to the President that focuses on modernization and maintenance of maritime and intermodal infrastructure. The bill should modernize the country’s existing port facilities, invest in intermodal transportation, provide education for rural river ports to guide local harbor administrators to adopt economic development methods through promotion and advertisement of regional economic integration and competitiveness, and expand the number of ports that are capable to host “mega-ships.” This paper will outline why an initiative to modernize and maintain maritime and intermodal infrastructure is not only important to U.S. commerce and national security, but also essential to accommodating the needs of industrial real estate in the next decades.

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