Pa. to go ahead with new Philadelphia container terminal

The following is the text of a press release issued by the Philadelphia Regional Port Authority:
(PHILADELPHIA) — In a major initiative to boost economic growth and job opportunities, Governor Edward G. Rendell announced today that the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, working closely with the Philadelphia Regional Port Authority, is seeking proposals from interested parties to design, operate and maintain “Southport,†a major new marine terminal in South Philadelphia, along the Delaware River.
The project will be a public-private partnership, expected to bring millions of dollars of investment to the region. The Southport project will add a state-of-the-art marine terminal to the portfolio of the Philadelphia Regional Port Authority, strategically positioning the region to capitalize on steadily increasing cargo volumes.
With an improvement underway in the nation’s economy and concurrent growth in retail sales and distribution supply, the Port of Philadelphia’s international trade volume is expected to grow substantially. Thousands of new, family-sustaining jobs are anticipated from the Southport project, as well as millions of new dollars in state and local tax revenue. As currently envisioned, the Southport site features superior intermodal opportunities and excellent potential for future growth and expansion.
“Southport will allow the Port of Philadelphia to capture a greater share of waterborne commerce largely because of its size and access to rail service and major highways,†Governor Rendell said. “In addition, because of the new cargo, Southport represents thousands of good, family-sustaining jobs that will have a positive economic impact on the region.â€
PRPA Chairman John H. Estey said: “History will show that we are at an extremely fortuitous time. Not only do we have our channel deepening project underway, but with this SFP we clearly demonstrate that Philadelphia has the premier site on the East Coast for new terminal development. Other parcels of this size, backed up by first-class rail and road infrastructure, simply do not exist on the eastern seaboard. We’re very grateful for the continued commitment and strong support of Governor Rendell and Mayor Nutter in bringing this much-anticipated project to fruition.â€
The new Southport terminal demonstrates the commitment of Governor Rendell and the PRPA to enhancing the competitive position of the Port of Philadelphia. To accelerate the Southport project, Governor Rendell dedicated up to $25 million in capital funds on May 22, 2009. That investment has funded environmental studies, permitting, land acquisition, geotechnical work, site preparation, utility analysis, and site access work.

A developer for the Southport project will be selected pursuant to a public, competitive selection process administered by the state Department of General Services. Interested parties are encouraged to participate in an informational webinar on the Southport project, which will take place on May 20, 2010. More information on the Southport webinar and the project itself is available at

“This visionary concept will assure the future of the Port of Philadelphia for generations. This will be a meaningful private-public partnership that will assure Pennsylvania a major role in international trade and commerce,†said Chairman Estey.
In addition to launching the Southport project, the PRPA has seen tremendous growth and expansion over the past three months with the arrival of three new lines of business. Hyundai Motor Company and Glovis, its logistics affiliate, selected the Port of Philadelphia to import and process 150,000 Hyundai and Kia vehicles annually through the Packer Avenue Marine Terminal, creating 275 full time jobs on the waterfront. Sea Star began calling PRPA’s Tioga Marine Terminal in April, bringing 52 new ship calls each year and 350,000 tons of new containers and breakbulk, yielding 191 new jobs. Finally, M-Real, a Finnish paper company, selected the Port’s Forest Products Distribution Center for its U.S.-bound cargoes, resulting in up to 24 new vessel calls annually, 150,000 tons of cargo and 82 new jobs.
The Philadelphia Regional Port Authority is an independent agency of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania charged with the management, maintenance, marketing, and promotion of publicly owned port facilities along the Delaware River in Philadelphia, as well as strategic planning in the port district. PRPA works with its terminal operators to modernize, expand, and improve its facilities, and to market those facilities to prospective port users. Port cargoes and the activities they generate are responsible for thousands of direct and indirect jobs in the Philadelphia area and throughout Pennsylvania, as well as numerous other economic benefits.
By Professional Mariner Staff