Philly / More cars, more containerized freight, and more cargo such as wood pulp and lumber will all be arriving on larger ships and creating more jobs.
The Port of Philadelphia is getting its first major capital investment in four decades for terminals, wharfs, and cargo cranes, with a $300 million cash infusion from the Wolf administration. The state is landlord and owner of 16 piers and terminals on the Delaware River.
Fixing ship berths, buying new cranes, updating and relocating warehouses, and doubling cargo-handling space is expected to create 2,000 waterfront jobs, and nearly 7,000 total jobs for truckers, rail workers, suppliers, and port-related businesses.
For the region, the improvements will position Philadelphia to attract new shippers that currently go to rival ports in New York and Baltimore.
The old cranes at Packer Avenue Marine Terminal, the port’s main container terminal, date from the late 1960s and ’70s, and can reach only 17 containers across, said Jeff Theobald, the Philadelphia Regional Port Authority’s chief executive officer. The new “post-Panamax” cranes – the first two will arrive in October and two more next year – can reach 23 containers wide.