Port of Philadelphia readying for new construction, new equipment

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The Port of Philadelphia (PhilaPort) recently announced that it is preparing to receive new cranes, new ships, new facilities as well as the new jobs to go with them.

“Right now, we can’t build fast enough,” PhilaPort CEO Jeff Theobald said. “We have to get through this construction as quickly as possible to get those jobs going. And then move on to Phase Two. Clearly, we need more warehouse space. We’re trying to look at properties available.”

The port currently faces a threat of congestion due to the growing number of containers on site. While companies have been shifting containers off-site, PhilaPort, which leases and manages both the piers and terminals there, spent $10 million in June to buy a 29-acre parcel to relocate warehouses and increase container capacity. Design of new warehouses there will go out to bid soon.

Meanwhile, the port is nearing completion on the strengthening of ship berths at its Packer Avenue Marine Terminal. They also will soon be breaking ground on a 100,000 square foot warehouse in Port Richmond’s Tioga Marine Terminal and creating a vehicle processing center for Hyundai and Kia imports at the Southport terminal of the Navy Yard. The cranes mentioned previously will be two super post-Panamax gantry cranes–some of the largest in the world–purchased for $23.5 million and expected to as much as double container cargo volumes on site.

“Construction of the warehousing improvements will all be done in 2018, a really significant growth expansion process,” Gregory Iannarelli, senior director of business development and chief counsel for PhilaPort, said.

In all, these improvements are expected to produce as many as 7,000 jobs for truckers, rail workers, suppliers and port-related businesses over the next 10 years, as well as 2,000 jobs on the waterfront itself.