Chicago Named Nation’s Largest Inland Port in CBRE Report


Chicago’s prominence as a global logistics hub was recently highlighted in CBRE’s Annual “North American Inland Ports Logistics Report,” which listed the Midwestern city as the largest and second busiest (behind California’s Inland Empire) inland port in North America.

According to the report, which tracks the 12 primary U.S. inland ports, the rapid growth of e-commerce has fueled development of warehouses and distribution centers in these markets at nearly twice the national rate.

Even with a recent surge in construction, demand for industrial buildings in these markets is so robust that nine of the 12 have seen their availability rates decline from their post-recession peaks faster than the national rate.

Chicago has the lowest availability rate among the inland ports tracked in the study at approximately 6.6 percent. Demand is so high right now that it cannot keep up with supply. CBRE Research reports that there are 10 tenants looking for space of 500,000 square feet or more in the Chicago region with a total need of nearly 8 million square feet, more than twice the available supply of 3.2 million square feet in this size range.

Some of the reports findings:

  • Between 2000 and 2013, intermodal container shipments grew by 26% in the Chicago region.
  • By 2040, inbound truck and rail shipments are projected to grow by 58% and 55%, respectively.
  • By 2040, outbound truck and rail are expected to increase by 38% and 147%, respectively.

Read the entire report here.

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