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U.S. Airport Outlook 2013

Cargo loaded onto a plane (image)

  • Among major U.S. cargo hubs there are two kinds of airports: those dominated by UPS and FedEx and those that are served by a broad array of carriers. The nonintegrator dominated airports tend to be large international passenger gateways.

  • The two types of airports generate two distinct real estate demand profiles: high throughput facilities such as cross-docks and truck terminals versus bulk distribution and fulfillment centers.

  • Miami International Airport earns our highest index score and is the airport with the best near-term prospects for real estate. Its ties to growing trade lanes and a diverse tenant base propel very healthy demand in the immediate surrounding market.

  • Inbound and outbound food / perishables are among the only commodities with good growth potential in the near term while a multitude of factors hold back overall air cargo growth in and out of the country.

  • E-commerce distribution is generating investment opportunities near major cargo hubs, but these are more difficult for investors to capitalize on as they are relatively small in number and frequently involve complex negotiations with state and local authorities.