KC Conway says it is u2018make-it-or-break-it' time for North America's port cities.

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SEATTLE-US ports must secure $3.6 trillion by 2020 for infrastructure improvements competitive as global trade patterns change in the wake of the Panama Canal Expansion, according to a recent report from locally based Colliers International. Currently, the US ranks 23rd globally in infrastructure competitiveness.

Cities which don’t invest CapEx in their port infrastructure may be negatively affected economically, according to the firm’s North American Port Analysis report, which examines evolving trade patterns resulting from the upcoming Panama Canal expansion in 2015. “US ports which invest in infrastructure linkages will be poised to receive larger post-Panamax vessels in 2015 and stand to benefit from accelerating growth in Latin America, Canada and Russia, while ports which are unwilling or unable to spend on infrastructure risk capsizing their local economies.”

The report’s theme, “CapEx or Capsize,” underscores the idea that cities need to spend the capital to upgrade their ports, or risk “capsizing” their economies. Report author, KC Conway, chief economist| USA at Colliers International, says it is ‘make-it-or-break-it’ time for North America’s port cities.

The report also looks at emerging inland ports and intermodal facilities in markets such as Charleston, Indianapolis, Philadelphia and the Great Lakes, and the impact that the Panama Canal expansion and changing global trade patterns are having on industrial commercial real estate.

Conway recently served as a panelist at RealShare L.A., where he talked about capital being plentiful, which he says, is helping the recovery. “We are in an era where we are seeing paper money migrate into anything tangible. The combination of capital is helping drive this recovery, but my worry is about 2014. Our fiscal issues will come home to roust…so 2013 will be good, 2014 will be questionable. There will be some cut back and some inflation.” Read more from his panel by clicking here.

Check back in the next day or so for more details from this report.