A new weekly cargo container service from Asia now docks at the Port of Philadelphia, aka PhilaPort, promising a significant increase in trade between Pennsylvania and the world’s largest and most populous continent.
“The port is an economic engine, not only in Philadelphia, but throughout the Commonwealth,” Governor Tom Wolf said at an Aug. 18 news conference marking the arrival of the ship Wan Hai Lines Ltd. at PhilaPort. “Today’s first call marks a new chapter for PhilaPort and our Commonwealth [that] will be a big boost to the port and our economy here in Pennsylvania.
Since 2016, Governor Wolf has approved investments of more than $539 million in infrastructure, warehousing and equipment at PhilaPort, according to his office, and since the implementation of the improvement plan infrastructure, the port recorded record freight volumes, nearly 60% container growth. , and created thousands of new jobs.
The Wan Hai 315 vessel arrived at PhilaPort’s Packer Avenue Marine Terminal on August 18 and was greeted by international dignitaries, elected officials, supply chain professionals and port officials, among others.
“The arrival of Wan Hai Lines’ Asia-America 9 (AA9) service offers shippers a better alternative for trading with Asia. More broadly, this will help ease port congestion on the US East Coast,” said Jeff Theobald, executive director and CEO of PhilaPort, the authority that manages Commonwealth marine terminals along the Delaware River.
The weekly container service will call at Haiphong, Vietnam; Shekou (Shenzhen), Shanghai and Qingdao, China; Kaohsiung, Taiwan; and Balboa, Panama, en route to the Packer Avenue Marine Terminal at PhilaPort, which Port Marketing Manager Sean Mahoney says “is at a unique link found nowhere else on the East Coast. the United States”.
“It’s a port that has the capacity to grow with deep water, three Class I railroads, a direct connection to I-95, and is surrounded by one of the industrial warehouse markets in fastest growing in North America,” Mahoney said.
That kind of access is a huge freight bonus, according to export development officials, who reported that Pennsylvania’s manufactured goods and agricultural products need more efficient routes to China, which is Pennsylvania’s largest market. export abroad of the state. In 2021, Pennsylvania’s exports to China were valued at $3.4 billion, which surpassed the totals of $2.9 billion and $2.6 billion in 2020 and 2019, respectively.
Taiwan, which the Pennsylvania Manufacturers’ Association says is also a major market for cargo from Pennsylvania, received $335 million in goods exported from the state in 2020, and two-way trade between Pennsylvania and Taiwan now exceeds 1 billion dollars.
The same goes for Vietnam, which also received an increase in exports from Pennsylvania, rising from $85 million in 2019 to $109 million in 2020, and up to $113 million in 2021.
“Shippers today only care about speed to market. They are motivated to find better alternatives to what they are experiencing today,” said Tom Holt, Jr., owner of Holt Logistics Corp., which provides freight and logistics services and operates the marine terminal. of Packer Ave. “This new service offers shippers a product that is unheard of today.”
PhilaPort stakeholders also heralded the state’s investments in the port, calling them good public policy as they leverage private port-related spending, including new warehouses, trucks, chassis, transfer facilities and transfer centers. distribution.
“Where we are today is only a whisper of where we can be in 10 years,” added PhilaPort President Jerry Sweeney. “Wan Hai Lines’ inaugural port call heralds the next chapter in the Port of Philadelphia’s historic upward trajectory.”
Other speakers at the press conference included Philadelphia Mayor Jim Kenney; Randy Chen, Vice President of Wan Hai Lines; Deputy Director of Taipei Economic and Cultural Office Rita P. Chen; and Joseph V. Martella, Port Manager of U.S. Customs and Border Protection for PhilaPort.
“Thank you to Port management and staff for your hard work and dedication to making PhilaPort a leader in shipping, and to Wan Hai Lines for recognizing the potential that exists here in Philadelphia for new container service,” concluded Wolf during his speech. “It’s an honor to be here with everyone today to mark this milestone and I look forward to your next successes.”