DTZ: Investors should seize on ports growth

The expansion by Peel Ports of the Port of Liverpool at Seaforth presents investment opportunities in the nearby area for land buyers with the cash to buy in today's market, according to a new report by DTZ.

DTZ's UK Ports and Airports study identifies several areas around the country where investment in air and water freight infrastructure is likely to generate a property uplift.

Brian Birtwistle, industrial director at DTZ in the North West, said: "All activity levels in logistics are way down at the moment due to the credit issues and the lack of trade. However, this is a short to medium term issue, and there are strong long-term prospects for the transportation of goods via water-borne freight as it is a cost effective and lower carbon method of transportation.

"The feasible expansion of port capacity and the development of port-based distribution parks and planned waterway upgrades could allow waterborne freight to expand its share by 5% to around 30% by 2030: cumulatively reducing road freight's share to 60%.

"With contractors being relatively short of work at the moment, and contract prices reducing significantly, as indeed have the price of materials; it is timely to be investing in infrastructure near waterways. It takes anywhere between 3-7 years for investments in infrastructure to reap rewards, owing to complexities and costs in development, so the smart money will enter now."

Peel is currently on site with the largest investment in warehousing at the Port of Liverpool since the container terminal was built in 1972. The Liverpool Intermodal Freeport Terminal is gaining an additional 400,000 sq ft to take the port's logistics capacity to 4m sq ft. The development is due to be completed in 2009 and will consist of distribution units served by sea, rail, road and inland barge.

DTZ also named Manchester Dry Docks Wharf as a solid investment target for the long term. Other growing ports highlighted were Port of Tyne, Teesport, Goole, Great Yarmouth, Felixstowe, Harwich, London Gateway port, Southampton and Bristol.

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