Today in Philadelphia, Gov. Tom Wolf, alongside several state officials and business leaders, detailed a multimillion dollar investment at the Port of Philadelphia (PhilaPort).
Gerard Sweeney, board chairman, PhilaPort, outlined the items that are brought in through PhilaPort, such as food and vehicles. He praised Gov. Wolf’s efforts to strengthen PhilaPort’s operations and stated private investments in the port and related projects have increased. He explained PhilaPort has expanded its staff and functions through Gov. Wolf’s “vision.” He noted the COVID-19 pandemic has created challenges but claimed issues with global supply chains and transportation have made PhilaPort stronger. “We have the most productive and hardest-working labor in the country led by smart, capable operators and great support from the public sector,” he said.
Gov. Wolf expressed his pride at being a patron of PhilaPort. He said his grandfather came through PhilaPort after serving in Europe during World War I. He stated PhilaPort should work for every person in Philadelphia and the commonwealth. He emphasized the resilience of Philadelphia and the port through the pandemic and its effects. He highlighted the importance of logistics convinced him to help develop PhilaPort with a $300 million investment. He said the World Bank has cited PhilaPort as the most productive port in the United States.
Gov. Wolf announced $246 million will be invested into PhilaPort. He stated the leadership and productivity of the port will recoup the cost. “I’m proud to support this important economic driver in Pennsylvania,” he declared.
Sen. Nikil Saval (D-Philadelphia) noted the workers at PhilaPort are his “neighbors and constituents.” He detailed PhilaPort’s effectiveness in creating jobs and supplying the commonwealth with its needs. “Infrastructure needs to be prioritized at every level of government so when we need it most, it’s already there,” he said. He underscored Philadelphia’s history as a “major commercial hub” throughout the country’s development. He expressed his gratitude towards Gov. Wolf for his investment.
Yassmin Gramian, secretary, Department of Transportation (PennDOT), explained the previous investment increased PhilaPort’s capacity and, subsequently, its productivity. She stated PennDOT “stands ready” to assist with developing the port through its new investment. “It’s important to emphasize that the connections between our ports and the rest of the transportation system is also…important and critical,” she said. She claimed the investment will also create other infrastructure projects, including repairing the I-95 highway. She concluded investment in ports has historically had positive impacts on the whole nation.
Sweeney stated the “passion” of the workers and leadership of PhilaPort is one of his favorite aspects. He thanked Gov. Wolf and the workers of the port. He expressed his happiness to work with other industries and state legislators and asserted PhilaPort will not let Gov. Wolf down.