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Tioga Marine Terminal Access and Capacity Enhancements Project
Article

Tioga Marine Terminal Access and Capacity Enhancements Project

This grant provides funding for a project to improve and modernize PhilaPort in Philadelphia, the largest refrigerated port in the nation.

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Cranes unload the freight ship MSC Gayane at the Packer Marine Terminal in Philadelphia on June 18, 2019. (Getty/Dominick Reuter)
Snapshot
  • Project name: Tioga Marine Terminal Access and Capacity Enhancements Project
  • Program: Infrastructure for Rebuilding America
  • Law: Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act

  • Recipient: U.S. Department of Transportation, Philadelphia Regional Port Authority

  • Investment amount: $20,341,494

  • City: Philadelphia
  • State: Pennsylvania

  • Congressional district: 2; project location
  • Construction start date: 2024

This profile is part of a project that finds and tracks the public and private sector investments generated or supported by three of the Biden administration’s economic laws. These laws make investments in the American people, helping to grow the middle class, lowering the cost of living, and setting up America to better compete and cooperate in the world. Pulling directly from several sources, this catalog provides users with publicly available information such as the number of jobs created, workforce training partnerships, and storytellers benefiting from particular projects, among other detailed information. The profile below expands on the economic, practical, and climate impacts of just one of the 35,000 investments that can be found in the Biden Administration Investment Tracker. It may be updated to account for future project developments.
Explore the tracker

Approximately $20 million from the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act will help renovate and modernize PhilaPort in Philadelphia. The project will include a new 100,000-square-foot warehouse that will be connected to existing rail lines, new employee parking, and modernized loading docks. The renovations will help to store and move more freight, easing backlogs and strengthening the domestic supply chain.

Historical context

  • “PhilaPort is the largest refrigerated port in the nation and top fruit gateway for the country. It also is a leading North American port of entry for meat and dairy products.” – Transport Topics, October 26, 2022
  • “It serves Atlantic Ocean vessels and transfers bulk raw materials and finished products in containers. River barge traffic handles mostly large volumes of dry bulk materials for the metal, chemical and energy industries.” – Transport Topics, October 26, 2022
  • “Spanning 116 acres, the Tioga terminal has six berths and handles wood, steel, containers, over-dimensional, palletized, project and breakbulk cargo. Loading docks have canopied loading platforms for 100 trucks.” – Transport Topics, October 26, 2022
  • “According to the state Department of Transportation’s September draft of its 2045 freight plan, PennDOT expects PhilaPort to be impacted by a growing national trend for more container-on-barge transportation, since containers can be easily transferred for final delivery to truck or rail.” – Transport Topics, October 26, 2022

Project summary

  • “The project will construct an approximately 100,000-square-foot warehouse with rail access, employee parking, and loading docks at the Tioga Marine Terminal.” – U.S. Department of Transportation, last accessed June 15, 2022
  • “The project will also relocate and construct a new modernized gate complex and relocate an existing maintenance facility.” – U.S. Department of Transportation, last accessed June 15, 2022
  • “This new warehouse will allow PhilaPort to store and move more freight, easing backlogs and keeping supply chains moving across the Mid-Atlantic and East Coast. The warehouse will also be connected to the rail lines that service PhilaPort, ensuring seamless integration into existing supply chain infrastructure. This funding comes from the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act.” – Office of U.S. Sen. Bob Casey (D-PA), last accessed July 28, 2023
  • “In June 2021, the Port of Philadelphia received a $49,000,000 INFRA grant to develop a new multi-use berth at the Southport Terminal, which will allow larger ships to dock at the port.” – Office of U.S. Sen. Bob Casey, September 12, 2022
  • “The U.S. Department of Transportation’s Infrastructure for Rebuilding America grant was awarded Sept. 15 to PhilaPort, an independent state agency tasked with managing port facilities along the Delaware River in Pennsylvania and port district strategic planning.” – Transport Topics, October 26, 2022
  • “INFRA grants are for nationally significant multimodal freight and highway projects. In its award notice, DOT stated that the Tioga terminal project will help address lack of capacity and avoid lengthy cargo rerouting to other East Coast ports.” – Transport Topics, October 26, 2022

Outcomes, improvements, and practical impact

  • “The project addresses the lack of capacity available at the Port of Philadelphia and avoids lengthy re-routing of cargo to other East coast ports.” – U.S. Department of Transportation, last accessed June 15, 2022
  • “The project reduces truck congestion and idling at the port, which will facilitate the movement of goods, improve air quality and reduce greenhouse gas emissions in the nearby underserved communities.” – U.S. Department of Transportation, last accessed June 15, 2022
  • “Upon completion, Tioga Marine Terminal, which is experiencing higher demand for pulp, project cargoes, steel and lumber products, will have more than 800,000 square feet of on-dock warehousing.” – Transport Topics, October 26, 2022

Climate impact

  • “The project reduces truck congestion and idling at the port, which will … improve air quality and reduce greenhouse gas emissions in the nearby underserved communities.” – U.S. Department of Transportation, last accessed June 15, 2022
    • “According to the port, current truck turn times at the port are under 40 minutes. Interstate 95 is next to port facilities, and I-76 (a major east-west artery) has entrance ramps close to PhilaPort terminals.” – Transport Topics, October 26, 2022

Economic impact

  • “Both INFRA grants will allow the Port of Philadelphia to increase its capacity, supporting the entire region’s economy.” – Office of U.S. Sen. Bob Casey, September 12, 2022
  • “‘We receive calls daily from shippers looking for dry storage. With the construction of a new 100,000-square-foot warehouse, we will have the ability to attract new business that will result in the creation of additional family-sustaining jobs for the region,’ said Jeff Theobald, executive director and CEO of the Philadelphia Regional Port Authority (PhilaPort).” – Transport Topics, October 26, 2022

Official supporting statements

  • U.S. Sen. Bob Casey: “The Port of Philadelphia is a critical link in our Nation’s supply chains. … By increasing capacity at the Port, we’re allowing more commerce to flow through Philadelphia, getting goods to families more efficiently and supporting local jobs. This is another example of how the Biden Administration is delivering on its promise to invest in our infrastructure and strengthen our economy.” – Office of U.S. Sen. Bob Casey, September 12, 2022
  • PhilaPort Board of Directors Chair Jerry Sweeney: “Safety of our labor force is paramount. With a modernized gate and approach to the terminal we can ensure that both the port and public are protected as the port continues to grow.” – Transport Topics, October 26, 2022
  • Former Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf (D): “The port is an economic powerhouse not just for the Philadelphia region, but for all of Pennsylvania. … This is a major hub for global trade and a crucial link in the supply chain for the goods that Pennsylvanians use every single day.” – Transport Topics, October 26, 2022
    • “A significant hub for global trade, PhilaPort is an important link in the supply chain and plays a critical role in strengthening our economy and our infrastructure, which is why I have prioritized investing in the port throughout my administration. … This funding from the Biden Administration builds on investments of state, federal and private dollars, and as a result, the port now has the capacity and efficiency to compete on the world stage. A public-private partnership that truly works, the port of Philadelphia and its men and women in labor have a lot to celebrate today.” – Philly Leader, September 23, 2022 

Selected clips

  • “$20 million grant will fund new warehouse at Tioga Marine Terminal” – CBS News Philadelphia, September 12, 2022
  • “PhilaPort receives $20.3M federal grant for Tioga Marine Terminal project” – Pennsylvania Business Report, September 19, 2022

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