Inbound Infrastructure! Packer Ave. Terminal Set for 2019

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THE NEW post-Panamax cranes will enable Packer Avenue Marine Terminal to handle an expected surge of new business when channel deepening is completed.

On Mar. 27, 2019, the M/V Zhen Hua 25 arrived in South Philadelphia to unload two behemoths at the Packer Avenue Marine Terminal. These new cranes, identical to two that arrived in 2018, make for a total of four super Post-Panamax cranes – capable of handling the largest ships in the world – now operating at the Terminal.

The arrival marked another milestone in the comprehensive modernization project underway at Packer, a demonstration of the competitive advantage the Terminal offers to shippers looking to improve time to market on the U.S. East Coast.

With a total of seven operational cranes and improvements in lighting, electrification, and warehousing, Packer Avenue Marine Terminal offers carriers unparalleled efficiency in reaching the Mid-Atlantic region and beyond. The Terminal is nearing completion of a comprehensive modernization, which will result in an increased overall throughput capacity for PhilaPort to one million TEUs per year. Terminal-wide improvements at Packer Avenue have paved the way for increased international business and imports through PhilaPort.

In early March of this year, representatives from Holt Logistics and PhilaPort gathered with officials from the Argentine Embassy to the U.S. to welcome the first shipment of Argentine beef into the United States since 2001. With help from PhilaPort and Holt Logistics, the Argentine Agricultural Ministry successfully acquired the necessary approvals from the US Department of Agriculture to begin import of bovine meat products. Now, Argentina expects to export about 20,000 tons of beef products – primarily used for higher-end cuts and hamburgers – into the U.S. every year.

The reintroduction of Argentine beef products marks another success in maintaining Philadelphia as the largest port for imported beef by volume in the United States.

A 21st-century port operation requires a 21st-century workforce, and the Packer Avenue Marine Terminal will soon be utilizing a new program that will greatly expand opportunities for local residents to attain family-sustaining jobs at the port.

In December 2018, officials from Citizens Bank, the Collegiate Consortium for Workforce & Economic Development, PhilaPort, and Philadelphia Works, joined Philadelphia Mayor Jim Kenney at the Terminal to announce the opening of the new Citizens Bank Regional Maritime Training Center. The new center will offer hundreds of current and future workers within Greater Philadelphia’s growing maritime industry access to specialized training programs and enhanced training opportunities such as forklift certification and recertification, yard jockey training, and OSHA safety training.

With an eye towards the future, more changes will be seen across the terminal in the coming year. 2019 will mark completion of comprehensive technology improvements, re-paving and electrification of the terminal yard, and the arrival of one additional super post-Panamax crane, bringing the total number of cranes on the terminal to eight. Additionally, engineering is currently underway for a new off-site replacement for the terminal’s refrigerated and dry distribution center. This new center will greatly increase terminal flexibility and efficiency in bringing a wide variety of products to market.

With steady increases in cargo volume and major improvements to visual infrastructure, the Packer Avenue Marine Terminal is poised to be the crown jewel in Philadelphia’s resurgence in the global shipping market. Holt Logistics and its client companies are proud partners in these efforts with the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, PhilaPort and other stakeholders to ultimately drive economic growth that benefits workers, consumers, businesses and government.

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