Southport’s Economic Potential

Audit Date: May 13, 2015
Audit Categories
  • Other
Controller: Alan Butkovitz
Audit Tags
  • Economic Development,
  • PRPA

Executive Summary

For Immediate Release
May 13, 2015

Contact: Brian Dries

Butkovitz Says New Port Would Generate Thousands of Jobs
City Controller’s study of Southport would generate much-needed growth for containers, autos and energy facility

Study of Southport’s Economic Potential – Utiizing Land to Maximize Local Jobs

PHILADELPHIA – City Controller Alan Butkovitz today released a study of the Port of Philadelphia’s land at Southport and found that more than 8,000 jobs could be created by utilizing the land for containers, autos and energy.

After studying existing port usage in Philadelphia and comparing statistics to ports in other cities, it is estimated that the 239-acre complex at the Philadelphia Navy Yard would generate the following total direct jobs:
8,100 – if the entire acreage was dedicated to a container terminal
6,800 – a combination of a container terminal and energy port; and
5,800 – a combination of a container terminal and auto facility.

“While each industry plays an important role in how Philadelphia can maximize the number of jobs at Southport, a combination that includes as many containers as possible would produce the most jobs,” said Butkovitz. “It’s not just about quantity, but there has to be a balance between ready right now jobs and potential future jobs that haven’t matured to the same level of actualization.”

Along with boosting job growth, these opportunities would generate between $240 million and $336 million in wages, resulting in between $10 million and $13.5 million in new tax revenue annually for the city. In addition, the direct jobs and revenues would create additional indirect, good-paying jobs in trucking, warehousing and customs.

“The development of Southport offers Philadelphia an opportunity to expand its port capabilities corresponding to the growth areas of the City’s industrial economy,” said Butkovitz.

“I would like to thank the City Controller for doing this report, as it has been needed for a number of years,” said Rep. William Keller, 184th Legislative District and Chairman of the Democratic Transportation Committee. “Philadelphia hasn’t taken advantage of what it has and this report will start the conversation of how we can create new jobs in our City.”

According to Controller Butkovitz, with the expansion of the Panama Canal almost complete, Philadelphia needs to position itself to benefit from the increased cargo traffic, which many other East Coast cities have already done.

“It is imperative that Southport becomes a state-of-the-art facility to meet any demand that is presented to Philadelphia,” said Butkovitz.