State Gives Port of Philadelphia $300M Boost
- Nov 25, 2016
Philadelphia—Starting in 2017, a capital investment program at the Port of Philadelphia will include a $300 million modernization project that is planned for completion in 2020. The financing will be used to improve infrastructure, warehousing and equipment, double container capacity, create thousands of jobs, improve efficiency and increase tax revenues. Upgrades are expected to expand cargo capacity and bring a substantial step up in automobile-handling capacity. The program, one of the largest state-sponsored investments on the East Coast, will boost three of the busiest sectors of the port.
Roughly $200 million will be spent on the Port of Philadelphia’s largest maritime facility — the 112-acre Packer Avenue Marine Terminal, which handles containers, steel products, frozen meat, fruit, heavy lift projects and paper. Improvements here will include four new electric post-Panamax container cranes, the relocation of warehouses to ease container growth, the construction of new ones and creating a 45-foot depth at the terminal’s marginal berths to match the new 45-foot depth of Delaware River’s main channel. The electric system throughout the facility will also be updated to support electrification of existing diesel cranes and cold ironing capabilities. Astro Holdings Inc., a Packer Marine Terminal tenant, is planning to purchase one of the Post Panamax container cranes, as well as dedicate significant privately-owned port acreage for container growth. Changes at the terminal will occur at about the same time the Delaware Main Channel deepening project will be completed.
Currently, the port’s automobile import/export facility processes 150,000 cars and employs more than 300 workers. This development will benefit from a $90 million investment, including the addition of 155 paved and fenced acres above the flood plain at the port’s Southport site, the conversion of the former seaplane hangar at Southport into a second auto-processing site, enhancements at the main auto-processing site at Pier 98 Annex and the establishment of a framework that provides flexibility for use of the land the port needs for containers and automobiles, as determined by market demands.
The third part of the investment program is the $12 million upgrade of the 116-acre Tioga Marine Terminal, home to Philadelphia’s Chilean fruit business, where containers, breakbulk cargo and steel is also handled. The funds will be used to improve the main on-dock warehouse, convert a second one into a food-grade warehouse, enhance rail access and purchase a second mobile harbor crane to add more capacity.
Officials of the Philadelphia Regional Port Authority anticipate an aggressive shovels in the ground schedule beginning early next year. Jobs are expected to increase by 70 percent over the next three years, reaching a total of 5,378.
Images courtesy of governor.pa.gov and via Port of Philadelphia Twitter page