The Port of Philadelphia, also known as PhilaPort, has officially achieved a 7% increase in container volumes in 2020 placing it as the fastest-growing container port on the United States East Coast.
COVID-19 has created difficulties for most global supply chains, except for perishables and forest products, which have surged during the pandemic leading to a 10% compound annual growth for the port.
The PhilaPort's main strength is its expertise on refrigerated cargo including grapes, bananas, pineapples, asparagus, and many other perishables. Despite hardships, food has reminded a staple and consumers are seeing the benefits of fresh, non-processed foods. Cold supply chain expertise, like PhilaPort, has allowed for a more rapid movement of all types of perishable essential goods.
PhilaPort saw an increase in the import of forest product cargoes, up 14% for the month of December and an increase of 61% from the previous year. The port divides up its products, with Piers 78-80 handling forest products including paper, pulp, and lumber. Annually, PhilaPort handles "almost 1 million tons of forest products in a year" but COVID and consumer behaviors have resulted in much greater amounts of products entering the Port.