PhilaPort has been selected by the US Department of Transportation (USDOT) to receive a $49 million grant from the 2021 Infrastructure for Rebuilding America (INFRA) programme.
In a statement, the Port said the grant funds will be used to provide gap funding for the development of a $130 million new multi-use berth at Southport.
The Southport Berth Development project will complement the US Army Corps of Engineers’ (USACE) deepening of the Delaware River shipping channel.
The deepening project will allow larger vessels to access PhilaPort, while the development of a new multi-use berth at Southport will allow these ships to dock directly at the Southport terminal where vehicular cargo can be efficiently stored adjacent to the berth.
By increasing the region’s limited maritime Ro/Ro capacity with a new berth at Southport, auto imports can continue to be delivered directly to Philadelphia instead of other busy ports handling Philadelphia-bound goods.
Jeff Theobald, PhilaPort Executive Director and CEO, said, “The Southport Berth Development and Port Expansion project has been ready to advance for the past several years and without this critical funding from the US Department of Transportation the project would not be possible.
The new multi-use berth at Southport’s immediate proximity to vehicle and other rolling stock and container operations provide numerous efficiency and logistical benefits.
These benefits include placing vehicles at a first point of rest in immediate proximity to the processing center, more efficient berthing operations and reducing transfers between processing centers.
The development of the Southport berth will also relieve congestion at berths that are better positioned to accommodate container and bulk cargo.
PhilaPort Chairman Jerry Sweeney also commented, “The Southport Berth Development project is a key component to PhilaPort’s continued growth and is vital to the region’s economic recovery.
“The project provides many logistical benefits in addition to creating high-paying jobs in the economically distressed and underserved communities of the greater Philadelphia region.”