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Inland ports are on the rise; investors see logistics opportunity

September 30, 2019 / The Investor

Many of the world’s fastest growing ports have a surprising thing in common – they are all inland. And their increasing popularity means more need for accompanying logistics investment. Inland or dry ports were developed to alleviate congestion at sea ports. Many large ports lack the road and warehousing infrastructure to cope with the amount of cargo they can process and those located in busy cities cannot build new road networks, so they handle increased volumes by rail. These railways act as rivers of steel, which take cargo to inland locations where more land is available. Inland ports are often referred to as intermodal facilities, because they are an intersection of rail and road networks. Land is cheaper inland, so it is better to move cargo – especially long dwelling cargo – inland to free up the more expensive waterside space, says Walter Kemmsies, Economist and Chief Strategist of JLL’s US Ports, Airports & Global Infrastructure Group.