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Port of Philadelphia Breaks Its Shipping Container Handling Records


The Port of Philadelphia may not spring to mind as one of the busiest in the US but it is fast approaching the Top 20 and growing year on year. In August 2017, PhilaPort (as it was rebranded earlier this year) set a new local benchmark, in handling 667,069 tons of cargo in a single month.

New Record Also Established for Containerized Cargo Movements

PhilaPort also saw a record 54,185 TEU’s transit in and out during August. “TEU” being the shipping industry measurement for steel container movements and standing for “twenty-foot equivalent units”. The term is a useful way to standardise and monitor consignments, and to make comparisons between different ports around the USA and across the world. The country’s busiest port, for example, Los Angeles, handled over 763,000 TEU’s in September 2017 and nearly 7 million over the calendar year.


PhilaPort Boasts Extensive International Cargo Routes

It may not be the largest shipping container port in the US but the Port of Philadelphia still has regular weekly services to other cargo terminals across the world, including those in Europe, Asia and Australasia. Giant freighters, run by global industry players, including Maersk Line, SeaLand, MSC and Hapag Lloyd are frequent visitors to PhilaPort. Long-planned work to deepen the Delaware River’s shipping channel from 40 to 45-feet is now underway. This $300 million project will allow access for the increasingly huge shipping container vessels that are being launched. Much of the work is being carried out by the US Army Corps of Engineers.

History of the Port of Philadelphia

Recent rebranding as PhilaPort brings the facility firmly into the 21st Century and signifies the management’s determination to establish it as a modern and versatile collection of terminals that is highly efficient at processing a broad range of imports and exports. However, the Port of Philadelphia has a long and illustrious history dating back well over 300 years.

Port of Philadelphia PhilaPort-Aerial-Shot-of-Container-Ship

In 1701, William Penn (famous founder of the Province of Pennsylvania) granted a charter which permitted the establishment of a new shipping port, which sprang up along the broad estuary of the Delaware River. This extensive collection of wharves and docks gradually expanded, while rapidly establishing a reputation for the safe and fast handling of diverse cargoes that brought customers flooding in.

The Different Types of Cargo Transiting PhilaPort

Philadelphia’s various terminals are designed to handle specific types of cargo. For example, the Packer Avenue Marine Terminal sees a large number of refrigerated and insulated shipping containers, which are used in the transportation of perishable loads, such as frozen meats or fresh fruit and vegetables. Whereas Tioga Terminal, handles a great deal of pulp cargo and other from South America. Pier 84 is extremely specialized and equipped to handle only imported cocoa beans and their many derivatives. Other piers and nearby warehouses handle products of the East Coast’s many forests and plantations, including lumber, wood pulp, and paper. The port’s vast Automobile Handling Facility is the hub for imported vehicles, especially Hyundai and Kia cars from South Korea.

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