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If you’ve ever purchased anything, or used any product or material ever, you more than likely have the global transportation network to thank.  Having recently toured the Philadelphia Port Authority’s Tioga Marine Terminal in North Philadelphia, the DrayNow team was provided with a number of unique insights into the world of international shipping.

The DrayNow team was fortunate enough to attend a guided tour of the Tioga Marine Terminal as part of National Transportation Week.  To start the day, the Director of Marketing, Sean E. Mahoney, gave a presentation about the day to day operations of the various terminals of the Port of Philadelphia as well as plans for upgrades and expansion in the future. Assistant Port Director for U.S. Customs and Border Protection, Edward T. Moriarity discussed the challenges of international shipping and all of the hard work Border Patrol carriers out every day to keep imports into the country safe.

Overall, the tour made it abundantly clear that Philadelphia is an indispensable piece of the global transportation network that directly impacts the lives of countless people around the world.

The sheer volume and scope of business that is conducted every day at the Tioga Marine Terminal, in addition to the Packer Avenue Marine Terminal, and Port 84, is astounding.  Regular shipments throughout the various terminals include: pulp cargo from Brazil, break bulk cargo, steel, fruit, frozen meat, automobiles, lumber, coated paper, and cocoa.

The Port Authority is hard at work dredging the Delaware River down to a depth of 45 feet as well as installing new super post panamax cranes to handle the ever increasing volume of freight. The Philadelphia Port is connected to multiple destinations, more specifically the top 70 distribution centers on the East Coast, throughout the United States by two Class I railroads as well as interstate I-95. Being centrally located enables an immense flow of imports and exports to move through the various terminal locations and outward through the East Coast’s fastest growing distribution warehouse region. There is a population of roughly 41,000,000 who utilize in one way or another the products that flow through Philadelphia.

Having lived in Philadelphia for the better part of a decade it was astounding to realize, having an up close in person experience, that the global transportation network, which quietly hums along in the background, is inextricably tied to the city itself. As an avid bike rider who rides along the Schuylkill river trail during the week I often pass by the CSX rail line full of double stacked intermodal containers full of different commodities. On the weekends, being an amateur gardener I oftentimes find myself shopping at the hardware store in Pennsport which is next to the Packer Avenue Port Terminal.  Sitting and watching the Super Post Panamax cranes offload intermodal containers from docked ships along the Delaware has become one of my new favorite pastimes.

To the untrained eye the port can seem like an overwhelming labyrinth of cranes, trucks, ships, and massive towers of containers. However, the men and women who work the large array of equipment operate like a well oiled machine and have reduced truck turn around times to under and an hour. Quicker turn times enable more freight to move, with less down time for carriers, less frustration at the shipper, and ultimately more products in the hands of consumers.

As DrayNow continues to push the intermodal industry forward, thinking outside of the box, using the latest in proprietary freight-matching technology it is inspiring to see such a large scale operation that works tenaciously in the same spirit of DrayNow’s guiding ethos, “Delivering solutions to move freight as effortlessly and efficiently as possible.”

Artie Maull

Recruitment & Engagement Specialist

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