Podcast | Intelligent Investment

Ride Captain Ride: Unlocking the value of seaports

October 24, 2023 44 Minute Listen

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The leaders of two of America’s key seaports—Gene Seroka of the Port of Los Angeles and Barbara Melvin of South Carolina Ports—discuss lessons learned from the pandemic and what global trade activity augurs for supply chains and industrial & logistics real estate investors and occupiers.

Ride Captain Ride: Unlocking the value of seaports

October 24, 2023 44 Minute Listen

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Key Takeaways:

  1. The pandemic clogged ports globally. Improvements in process management and increased investment have helped alleviate these issues.
  2. International trade has spurred increased port capacity in the U.S.
  3. The development of inland ports and efficient utilization of land near port areas can further reduce congestion and aid supply chains.


Photo of Gene Seroka

Gene Seroka

Executive Director, Port of Los Angeles

Gene Seroka is the Executive Director of the Port of Los Angeles, the busiest container port in North America. Confirmed by Los Angeles City Council in June 2014, the Port has experienced a series of historic, record-breaking performances since his appointment. Since the pandemic-induced buying surge generated by American consumers in the second half of 2020, the Port of Los Angeles has eclipsed multiple monthly cargo records and recorded eight out of 10 highest-performing quarters in its 115-year history. The Port set two new milestones for the Western Hemisphere in June 2021 as the first port to process 10 million Twenty-Foot Equivalent Units (TEUs) in a 12-month period and in May 2021 the first port to process 1 million TEUs in a single month. Seroka received the esteemed Stanley T. Olafson Award from the Los Angeles Area Chamber of Commerce in 2023, recognizing his work in the world trade industry and leadership of the nation’s busiest container port.

Photo of Barbara Melvin

Barbara Melvin

President and CEO, South Carolina Ports

Barbara Melvin is the sixth leader in the history of the port and the first woman to lead a top 10 U.S. operating container port. During her more than 20 years with SC Ports, Melvin has held several senior leadership positions, including senior vice president of operations and terminals; senior vice president of external affairs; and vice president of government relations. In addition to overseeing numerous infrastructure projects, Melvin served as the lead staff person on the Charleston Harbor Deepening Project, which is on track to being the deepest harbor on the East Coast at 52 feet this year.

Photo of Doug Norton

Doug Norton

Senior Vice President, CBRE

One of CBRE’s top performing real estate professionals, Doug Norton, SIOR, has earned a reputation for his clear, systematic, and thorough approach to business. With more than 34 years at CBRE, he has completed assignments across the country and acquired national market knowledge. Doug understands the power of relationships and has cultivated a network of key relationships both within and outside of CBRE. He utilizes this network to create teams of brokers that meet the specific requirements of each of his clients.


Photo of Spencer Levy

Spencer Levy

Global Client Strategist & Senior Economic Advisor, CBRE

Spencer Levy is Global Client Strategist and Senior Economic Advisor for CBRE, the largest commercial real estate services firm in the world. In this role, he focuses on client engagement and public-facing activities, including thought leadership work performed in conjunction with CBRE Research. He also serves as Co-Chair of the Real Estate Roundtable’s Research Committee.


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