Philadelphia port expanding forest product capacity

Philadelphia port expanding forest product capacity


A new warehouse under construction at the Port of Philadelphia is designed to enhance the growing interest in moving forestry cargo through the port. Photo credit:

The Port of Philadelphia is building a $12 million, 100,000-square-foot warehouse at the Tioga Marine Terminal (TMT) to meet growing demand from forest product shippers, whose cargo is shipped as breakbulk and already accounts for more than 1 million tons of cargo at the port.

The on-dock warehouse, which will include indoor loading facilities areas with ten railcar and truck loading docks, extra high ceilings, and clear span staging areas, is expected to be finished by the end of the first quarter next year, the Port of Philadelphia, known as PhilaPort, said in a release. 

The project will be funded in part from the $300 million put up by the state of Pennsylvania in 2016, most of which went to upgrade the port’s container terminal, as well as improve vehicle handling at the port. The investment in June resulted in the port opening a second berth for the import and export of automobiles and roll-on, roll-off (ro-ro) cargoes.

The new import and export breakbulk warehouse is the result of growing interest in the category since the terminal, and the port authority, rehabilitated a 300,000 square foot warehouse to cater to forestry products in 2014, said Robert Palaima, president of Delaware River Stevedores, which operates the terminal. At the time, the company was looking to transition from handling refrigerated breakbulk — mostly perishable fruit from Chile — which was a largely seasonal business, to something more constant year-round, he said.

“The new warehouse attracted a certain amount of attention,” he said Wednesday. “In fairly short order, it reached capacity. And in order to grow and give flexibility [and] fluidity to the cargo, we need additional space.”

The warehouse will handle a range of products, including lumber, wood, moldings, high-grade paper for packaging, and wood pulp imported from Brazil. The 116-acre terminal has five berths.

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