The Port of Philadelphia will become the Northeast Distribution Center for the world’s foremost producer of eucalyptus pulp, which is used in making a full range of personal hygiene products, including paper towels and facial tissues.
Mateus Carmo, president of Fibria Celulose USA INC, has revealed his company is relocating its operation from Baltimore to Tioga Terminal in early July.
Gov. Tom Corbett, who visited Brazil to promote more business for the port, was to have made the announcement yesterday at the postponed, due to the weather, annual luncheon hosted by the Seamen’s Church Institute at the Sheet Metal Workers Union Hall.
He will receive the prestigious “Spirit of the Port” Award at the rescheduled luncheon for his commitment to ensuring the Philadelphia port prospers and grows as a viable part of the greater Philadelphia, Pennsylvania and US economy. The Philadelphia port is presently supporting more than 130,000 jobs paying more than $7.8 billion annually in wages and salaries.
The Governor’s team, when in Brazil, and who the Governor later met with in Harrisburg, was Fibria’s Colin Bilton.
Charles Kopp, chairman of the Board of the Philadelphia Regional Port Authority, which oversees the Port’s terminals, said Fibria’s activity will generate $1.74 million in state and local taxes per year, and well as $6.09 million in federal tax.
Fibria selected the Port of Philadelphia in December 2013 after many meetings with the Governor’s Office, PRPA, DRS, ILA local 1291, and other port interests this past autumn. The many meetings with the Governor and other officials of the Commonwealth actually began earlier in Brazil, during Corbett’s “Jobs First” trade mission to South America in April 2013.
Fibria Cellulose, SA, is headquartered in Sao Paulo, Brazil. Their US headquarters is in Adventura, Fla. They are the largest producers of wood pulp in the world.
Tioga Terminal, operated by Delaware River Stevedores, whose CEO is Robert Paliaima, will become their strategic partner and distribution center. It will be expecting 18-20 large vessels per year and annual volumes of 360,000 tons. There will be terminal work loading rail cars and trucks five days a week, 52 weeks per year, creating over 300 more jobs.
It is predicted, from port sources, the tonnage will grow to half million tons a year. The ships provide intensive on hands labor and will utilize the rail and truck loading facilities of Tioga Terminal daily.
Operations at the new terminal are scheduled to commence in early July 2014 upon completion of improved infrastructure projects that will transform the Tioga Terminal into a premier wood-pulp terminal with 397,000 square feet of warehouse space, 22 rail-car spots and multiple truck docks, additional on terminal rail-car storage of up to 30 rail cars. Tioga Terminal has direct access to both NS and CSX rail, efficient on-terminal rail switching infrastructure, 42-foot draft at berth with maintenance dredging as required, on terminal drop-hook truck capacity, and convenient access to I-95 and I-76.
This pulp and paper company has a production capacity exceeding 6 million tons of pulp and paper produced in seven factories distributed in five Brazilian states. Much of this production is exported. The company has many distributor centers around the world and five offices in the main consumer markets: São Paulo (Headquarters); Beijing; Csomád, Hungary; Hong Kong; Miami; and Nyon, Switzerland.
Fibria has been selected as one of the top 10 corporations in the world “changing the industry through sustainability” and for its strong commitment to the efficient use of natural resources, its R & D and active social engagement. It is a leading manufacturer and supplier of wood pulp, a product used in a full range of personal hygiene products, including paper towels and facial tissues. The primary source of the product is eucalyptus trees, which grow to full maturity in six years.
Carmo stated the move is an initiative by his company “to ensure a competitive position of Fibria in the North American Market, supporting the strategy of the company to provide an outstanding and differentiated service to its customers in the region.”
Acknowledging the cooperation and work and commitment made by the Port’s partners, Carmo added, “We would like to take the chance to thank The ILA, The Philadelphia Regional Port Authority, Delaware River Stevedores, PennDOT, Conrail, CSX and NS, for working together with Fibria to make such initiative a reality. We also specially thank Gov. Tom Corbett, and his action team, including DCED Secretary Alan Walker, and PennDOT Secretary Barry Schoch, for all the commitment and support given to all parties involved to make the Tioga Terminal a strategic long term business partner of Fibria.”
Fibria’s move to Philadelphia greatly improves supply-chain logistics for important Pennsylvania manufacturers like Proctor & Gamble and Scott Paper, creating 455 direct and indirect jobs.
Due to the frequent arrivals of vessels carrying Fibria’s wood pulp, there will be regular opportunities for back-haul cargoes, which will permit Pennsylvania manufacturers to more easily export their products to Brazilian markets.
This new business is the catalyst which justifies the current investment to upgrade the Port Richmond Industrial Track & Rail Corridor. This will assure the future of modern rail service not only for the Tioga Marine Terminal but also for current and future industries located along the Delaware River in North Philadelphia.
Palaima said, “Tioga Terminal’s food-grade warehouse status helped in a major way to attract the cargo to Philadelphia, as it is critically important — due to the ‘personal hygiene’ nature of the end products to be manufactured — that wood pulp cargoes remain clean (free of stones, dirt, and other debris).
“We look forward to a long relationship with Fibria, and found their leadership and management to be world class.”
This will be a multi-decade commitment with the Port of Philadelphia and DRS, with at least a 20-year relationship currently envisioned.
Tioga Marine Terminal is expected to receiver 18-24 ship calls per year, with activity running five to six days per week of regular activity at the terminal.