Gov. Tom Corbett traveled to South Philadelphia Thursday to welcome Horizon Lines freight ships to the Port of Philadelphia.
Looking out over the water at the Packer Avenue Terminal, surrounded by stacks of shipping containers, Corbett said Pennsylvania is competing with the world for business.
“Here, in Philadelphia, we are starting to win that battle on behalf of Pennsylvania in the shipping competition, the shipping market,” he said. “It will be a pleasure to see these ships come in once a week and then as markets grow, as we get more from South America coming up here, to see more and more ships come in.”
Corbett’s office said the Horizon Lines relocation from North Jersey is expected to create 600 full-time, direct and indirect jobs in the region. That’s estimated to generate at least $46 million in overall economic gains.
State Rep. Bill Keller, D-Philadelphia, praised Corbett and said work at the port represents good, family-sustaining jobs.
“I believe that within five years you will see 3.5 million to 5 million containers going through the Port of Philadelphia,” Keller said. “Know what that means, Governor? Every kid who wants a job in these neighborhoods will be able to go back to work like I did!”
Through the Port of Philadelphia, Horizon Lines will primarily ship fresh produce, beverage products, chemicals, medical supplies and pharmaceuticals.