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  October 1st, 2017 | Written by

PhilaPort Breaks Monthly Cargo Records

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  • PhilaPort continues to upgrade its infrastructure and improve systems.
  • PhilaPort's labor force and its marine terminal operators are credited for an improved perception of the port.
  • The growing number of regional distribution centers contributed to volume growth at the Port of Philadelphia.

PhilaPort handled 667,069 metric tons of cargo in August, achieving its highest ever monthly total. The Port of Philadelphia also broke new records for monthly container throughput, moving 54,185 TEUs, and forest products, which reached 109,604 metric tons last month.

PhilaPort CEO Jeff Theobald credited the port’s highly productive labor force, the marine terminal operators, and an improved perception of the port for the increased tonnage. “As we continue to upgrade our infrastructure and improve our systems, the word is getting out,” he said. “That’s why shippers are choosing PhilaPort as their preferred port.”

The previous record for total monthly tonnage was reached back in May of 2017, when 625,935 metric tons were handled.

In the container cargo segment, the old record was 50,152 TEUs, which was achieved in January 2017. Containers are used to transport consumer goods such as televisions and clothes, refrigerated food cargoes, and sensitive or valuable industrial goods such machine tools and parts. The total tonnage of the cargo inside PhilaPort’s August containers was 376,517 metric tons, which also constituted a new record.

Another new monthly volume record was broken in forest products. Several PhilaPort facilities handle this renewable resource, including the Philadelphia Forest Products Center (Penn Warehousing & Distribution), Tioga Marine Terminal (Delaware River Stevedores), and Packer Avenue Marine Terminal (Greenwich Terminals). Leading categories include paper, pulp, and lumber. The former record for forest products was set back in September 2016, when 108,980 metric tons crossed the docks.

“Our goal is to minimize disruptions to customers while we construct the infrastructure necessary to improve the port, and so far, we are achieving the goal,” said Greg Iannarelli, PhilaPort Senior Director of Business Development.

Supply chain professionals list a number of factors to account for The Port of Philadelphia’s impressive growth: the rising awareness of the port, shipper frustration with congestion and delays at competing ports, and the growing number of large distribution centers in the Lehigh Valley and southern New Jersey.

“In order to reach Governor Tom Wolf’s targets for the port, we need to keep growing volumes,” said PhilaPort Director of Marketing, Sean Mahoney. “August’s numbers show we are heading in the right direction.”