With activity at the facilities of the Philadelphia Regional Port Authority (PRPA) recently passing the halfway point of 2014, cargo statistics compiled for period of January 1 to June 30 strongly suggest that this will be another year of major successes at the Port of Philadelphia, with the fifth year of double-digit cargo growth a likely probability by year’s end.
Comparing the period of January to June 2014 with January to June 2013, containers have increased more than 29 percent; breakbulk cargoes have increased almost 13 percent; Roll-On/Roll-Off cargoes have increased almost 5 percent; and liquid bulk cargoes have increased more than 4 percent. All told, total cargo tonnage at PRPA facilities is up over 13 percent when comparing January to June 2013 with January to June 2014.
The following figures illustrate many of the specific cargo gains at PRPA’s maritime facilities:
Containers have been a stand-out so far this year, with 219,060 TEU’s handled during January to June 2014 compared to the 168,820 TEU’s handled during January to June 2013, a dramatic gain of over 29 percent. Counted as metric tonnage, 1,414,220 metric tons of containerized cargo was handled in January to June 2014 compared to the 1,184,147 tons handled during the same period of 2013, a 19 percent gain.
Among breakbulk cargoes (those commodities not shipped in containers), steel and forest products showed particular gains. 194,519 metric tons of steel were handled January to June 2014 compared to the 116,249 tons handled during the same period of 2013, a 67 percent gain. 240,183 metric tons of forest products (including lumber, wood pulp, and rolls of high-quality paper) were handled January to June 2014 compared to the 209,823 tons handled during the same period of 2013, a 14 percent gain. Fruit (118,861 metric tons handled) and cocoa beans (72,747 tons handled) performed about the same during the two periods being compared.
The major Roll-On/Roll-Off cargo at the Port of Philadelphia continues to be automobiles, principally new Hyundai and Kia vehicles from South Korea. 100,967 metric tons of automobiles arrived at the Port of Philadelphia in January to June 2014, compared to the 96,240 tons handled during the first six months of 2013, an almost 5 percent gain. Counted as individual units, January to June 2014 saw 72,722 automobiles arrive here, compared to the 68,675 cars that arrived January to June 2013, and almost 6 percent gain.
680,198 metric tons of liquid bulk cargoes moved through the Port in January to June of this year, compared to the 655,448 tons moved during the same period last year, a close to 4 percent gain.
Looking at all cargoes in total, 2,853,362 metric tons of cargo moved through the facilities of the Port of Philadelphia in during January to June 2014, compared to the 2,519,967 metric tons that moved through those facilities during January to June 2013, a 13 percent gain.
“As I commented this past spring when preliminary cargo figures began rolling in, we’re really entering a great period here at the Port of Philadelphia,” said PRPA Chairman Charles G. Kopp, Esq. “Between our aggressive terminal operators, our expert labor force, PRPA’s dedicated professional staff, the excitement created by the Delaware River Channel Deepening Project, and the excellent support we’ve received from Pennsylvania Governor Tom Corbett and his administration, the Port of Philadelphia has a formula in place for continued high performance, and I don’t think that is going to change.
“And I must point out the entirely new cargoes we’ll be handling at the Port, in particular wood pulp from Fibria Cellulose of Brazil. I really think that the sky is the limit for us.”