PHILADELPHIA - A cargo ship carrying a pair of massive cranes has arrived at The Port of Philadelphia, serving as a sign of booming business along the city's waterfront and across the commonwealth, officials said.
Once fully operational, the two super post-Panamax cranes will stand 32 stories high, 13 feet taller than the neighboring Walt Whitman Bridge.
"For over a year we have been working hard to prepare the terminal for these cranes and it is great to see them here," said Jeff Theobald, the executive director and CEO of PhilaPort. "Last year, we hit an East Coast record of 19 percent container growth. To sustain that type of growth, these new cranes are a necessity."
Each crane cost $12 million. It took 91 days to transport them to Philadelphia from China, where they were built.
The cranes' arrival, officials said, marks another milestone since Gov. Tom Wolf announced in 2016 a plan to invest more than $300 million in PhilaPort's infrastructure, warehousing, and equipment.
"Pennsylvania's ports are vital to the economic success of the entire commonwealth and I will continue to invest in our assets that strengthen Pennsylvania's economy and support new job growth," Wolf said. "The new cranes positioned along Philadelphia's waterfront will serve as a visual reminder that business is booming in Pennsylvania."
Since the start of its infrastructure improvement plan, the port has realized record-breaking cargo volumes and nearly 20 percent container growth. Last month, it welcomed the largest container vessel ever to call at the port.
"The port has a huge impact on the economy of the entire region, and these new cranes are another sign that the port is building a very bright future," said Tom Holt, Jr., the president of Astro Holdings, the Packer Avenue terminal operator. "The cranes allow us to handle more cargo from bigger ships, and since we're already setting records for cargo growth at Packer, the cranes are arriving not a moment too soon."
Development is set to continue through 2020, supporting thousands of jobs and generating an increase of more than $100 million in state and local tax revenues each year, officials said.
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