Port of Philadelphia welcomes direct container cargo from Europe

By: | at 08:00 PM | Ports & Terminals  

Mediterranean Shipping Company S.A. agreement will sustain hundreds of jobs

The Philadelphia Regional Port Authority and Holt Logistics Corp. announced formal completion of the plan to welcome Mediterranean Shipping Co. S.A of Geneva, Switzerland’s direct container service, to the Port of Philadelphia. Beginning in October, MSC will make weekly calls into the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania’s Packer Avenue Marine Terminal. The new European service will help support hundreds of family sustaining jobs in the region.

“The Port of Philadelphia continues to be a major economic engine for the commonwealth, and we welcome this new service from Europe,” said Governor Edward G. Rendell. “Commitments from shipping giants like MSC go a long way in helping the entire Philadelphia region withstand the global economic downturn and support existing jobs.” 

MSC, the second-largest container ship operator in the world, committed to the new cargo in addition to the shipments that it already brings to the Port of Philadelphia from the west coast of South America.

“This new service is great news for our Port and the entire region. We are very excited about MSC’s decision to expand its presence in Philadelphia,” said Thomas J. Holt, Jr., President of the leasehold company that leases the Packer Avenue Marine Terminal under a long-term lease with the Philadelphia Regional Port Authority. “Shippers have expressed a lot of interest in having direct European service with the Port of Philadelphia.  MSC is a leader in the field and continues to grow, even in the down economy.”

The agreement, which helped attract the new service, was approved by both the Philadelphia Regional Port Authority (PRPA) and the Commonwealth earlier this month.  MSC’s Board of Directors formally approved the plan.

“MSC is thriving in a tough economy, and this weekly service will serve as a gateway to new shipments through PRPA terminals as they continue to grow their business,” said John H. Estey, Chairman of the Philadelphia Regional Port Authority. “The efficient and hard working team at the Packer Avenue Marine Terminal helps to attract shippers, and keep them.  We are looking forward to a long relationship with MSC that will grow over the years.”

“This announcement would not have been possible without the tremendous leadership of Governor Rendell and the PRPA,” Holt said. “They recognized this opportunity and moved decisively to help attract this business to Philadelphia.”

MSC’s service arrival is particularly vital during the global recession. At the Philadelphia terminal, total cargo was down through June 30 from 2 million tons to 1.7 million tons, a decline of 15%. The Port remains a backbone of both the Philadelphia and regional economy, and the new service could potentially erase the current cargo deficit by end of the year.


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