Strong first half for Port of Philadelphia

phillyportJULY 19, 2013—With 2,519,967 metric tons of cargo handled during the first six months of 2013 compared to the 2,217,803 metric tons of cargo handled during the same period of 2012, the facilities of the Philadelphia Regional Port Authority experienced a 13.62 percent gain in cargoes handled.  If current cargo trends continue throughout the remainder of the year, 2013 will be the fourth straight year of double-digit cargo growth at the Port of Philadelphia.

“The Port of Philadelphia is a very versatile port,” said PRPA Chairman Charles G. Kopp, Esq. in response to the just-released cargo figures.  “This is demonstrated by the fact that containers, breakbulk cargoes, and liquid bulk all showed strong gains during the first six months of this year.”

Among the highlights of these Year-To-Date (YTD) cargo figures are the following:

With 1,184,147 metric tons of containerized cargoes handled January to June, 2013 compared to the 1,002,911 tons handled during that same period of 2012, containerized cargo tonnage was up a healthy 18%.  Counted as TEUs, 168,820 TEUs of containers were handled YTD 2013 compared to the 135,656 TEUs handled during the same period of 2012, resulting in a 24% gain.

Breakbulk cargoes (which are cargoes, often palletized, that are not shipped in containers) were overall up a strong 18%, as well, when comparing the same two periods of 2012 and 2013.  This is due in part to healthy growth among the following specific cargoes:

With 116,249 metric tons of steel handled YTD 2013 compared to the 89,292 tons handled during the first half of 2012, steel is so far up 30%.  Steel cargoes, much of which is destined for the automobile and construction industries, arrives at PRPA’s Packer Avenue Marine Terminal and Tioga Marine Terminal.

With 209,823 tons of forest products handled January-June 2013 compared to the 168,012 tons handled during the same period of 2012, forest products, which include newsprint, fine coated paper (used to print catalogs and magazines), pulp, and lumber, were up 25%.  These cargoes principally arrive at PRPA’s Forest Products Distribution Center at Piers 78/80 & 74.

Cocoa beans experienced a 21% gain, with 86,438 metric tons of cocoa beans being handled January-June 2013 compared to the 71,631 tons handled during the same period of 2012.  Cocoa beans, which are eventually manufactured into candy bars, cocoa powder, and a wide variety of chocolate products, arrive at PRPA’s dedicated cocoa bean handling facility at Pier 84.

Fruit (126,121 tons handled), project cargo (21,884 tons handled), and automobiles (96,240 tons) performed at about the same levels during the first halves of both years.  Sugar, a cargo that returned to the Port of Philadelphia in the latter half of 2012 after a long absence, continued to make a mark at the Port during the first half of this year, with 23,479 metric tons handled.  Sugar arrives at the Tioga Marine Terminal. 

Liquid bulk cargoes also showed a healthy gain YTD 2013.  With 655,448 metric tons of liquid bulk arriving at the Port of Philadelphia January-June 2013 compared to the 611,022 tons handled during the same period of 2012, liquid bulk was up over 7 percent.  Liquid bulk cargoes arrive at the Tioga Marine Terminal and are pumped (via an elevated pipe bridge) to Kinder Morgan’s liquid bulk facility located across the street from the terminal.

“With the deepening of the Delaware River’s main channel and our Southport Marine Terminal Project, the Port of Philadelphia is making the necessary improvements to our facilities and infrastructure to assure growth in the future,” said Chairman Kopp.  But these impressive year-to-date cargo statistics demonstrate that PRPA and its terminal operators are out there right now building our business, before those enhancements come online.  I’m very proud of what this port has been accomplishing in the areas of job creation and overall economic impact to our region.  Further, these cargo statistics justify the ongoing support of Pennsylvania Governor Tom Corbett and his administration, who have recognized the importance of their international seaport in Philadelphia with strategic and substantial investment.”

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