Port Problems Won't Dent Seattle Industrial
Will the current labor fracas have a lasting impact on the industrial property market here? "The ports of Seattle and Tacoma are certainly economic drivers for the greater Puget Sound region, and we’re hoping for a quick resolution to the latest labor dispute," JLL's VP-industrial/logistics Casey Trees tells us (he's snapped with VP-industrial/logistics Chris Spofford). That said, a prolonged work stoppage wouldn't be as punishing as in SoCal, Casey adds. Here's why: A majority of the product imported into Seattle/Tacoma never stops at warehouses in the region, but rather is sent by truck or rail to the Midwest.
So while a decrease in imports impacts employment and productivity of the ports, it isn't a one-to-one relationship with real estate demand, Casey explains. Port activity is important, but only one of many factors contributing to the health of the industrial market. As long as unemployment remains low, population growth and wages are strong, and Boeing continues building airplanes in the region, the Seattle industrial market should remain healthy.