When you think of Pennsylvania’s rich transportation history, you typically think of trains. For Philadelphia, the port is part of their transportation history. In 2017, the Port of Philadelphia rebranded themselves as PhilaPort. Focusing on PhilaPort’s new investments and emerging trends help shape the future of our region.
PhilaPort is growing. Large improvements do not come cheap. Over the next few years, over $1 Billion dollars of state and federal funds will help finance the improvements being made. Improvements focus on increasing the capacity of the port and its ability to accept new, Post-Panamax, large ships. The expansion of the Delaware River along with the deepening is neccesary for these new ships. Additionally, the new cranes are going all electric. Normally, the cranes were deisel-powered and inefficient. New technology investments like the cranes help reduce the carbon footprint of the port.
PhilaPort has seen an increase in container units and a decline in break bulk, or cargo that is not shipped in a container. This indicates they are becoming a more modern port. The Port of Philadelphia is now the number one port in the world for cocoa beans and fruit imports. Transportation and warehousing are two other areas seening benefit from this growth. FTZ 147 is seeing a surge in warehousing and distribution. Food processing and manufacturing is a key part of our regional identity. Warehousing and transportation help support our region and offer possibilities for new growth.
Overall, PhilaPort received more the 540,000 TEU containers (twenty-foot equivilancy units) in 2017. The new cranes, ships and deeper river will help PhilaPort grow. The largest ship for PhilaPort came into port last week. It held over 13,000 containers! Looking ahead, PhilaPort expects to process over 1 million TEU containers in less than a decade. An increase in automobiles and food shipments will help PhilaPort reach its goal.