Governor Wolf Encourages Companies to Apply for Port Growth Incentive Program to Increase Cargo Activity

Harrisburg– Governor Tom Wolf today announced that ocean carriers can apply for PennDOT’s new Intermodal Cargo Growth Incentive Program that aims to increase cargo activity in the Port of Philadelphia.

The program was established through PennDOT’s Multimodal Transportation Fund and commits up to $1 million annually for five years to encourage ocean carriers to transport more to and from the Port of Philadelphia by awarding $25 per container lift above previously reported lift totals. Carriers that start new containerized cargo shipping services to the port will also qualify. 

“Pennsylvania has a robust transportation system and our ports are a vital part of the movement of goods,” Governor Tom Wolf said. “The Port of Philadelphia is an important asset for the commonwealth’s entire economy. These incentives will help increase activity at the Port, which will drive commerce across Pennsylvania and could create more than 1,400 good-paying jobs.”

A carrier that either discharges or loads containerized cargo at any terminal that handles container cargo would be eligible for the incentive if they increase the volume from one six-month period to another. 

PennDOT expects to award the first grants under the program during the 2015-16 state fiscal year, with grants being awarded twice each fiscal year.

By encouraging companies to bring more cargo to Philadelphia, PennDOT expects that this new program will attract at least 200,000 new annual container moves to the port over the five-year program. This additional economic activity could yield more than 1,400 jobs created in the region.

The program is currently open to carriers to the Port of Philadelphia as it is the only Pennsylvania port handling containerized cargo.

Companies interested in applying for the program must apply by June 30 and if approved, incentives will be based on reported cargo activity from July 2014 through December 2014. Pre-existing ocean carriers must submit an annual application by June 30 to continue receiving funds in each state fiscal year beginning on July 1.

Ocean carriers initiating new service after July 1 each year may submit an application between July 1 and Dec. 31 of the fiscal year during which they are seeking funds.

PennDOT’s Multimodal Transportation Fund, established by Act 89, includes dedicated budget categories for aviation, rail freight, ports and bicycle-pedestrian projects.

The Intermodal Cargo Growth Incentive Program application is available at www.dot.state.pa.us on the “Multimodal Transportation” page. Email ra-penndotpress@pa.gov for more information on the Intermodal Cargo Growth Incentive Program.

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