By Michelle Durham
PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — State and city officials were rolling out the red carpet today at the Packer Marine Terminal in South Philadelphia for Horizon Lines. The cargo company has decided in favor of Philadelphia over Elizabeth, NJ as its east coast port, much to the delight of Keystone State officials who gathered at the waterfront.
Governor Tom Corbett (partially hidden by lectern in photo) says it’s a major coup for Pennsylvania, and predicts this announcement will be the first of many.
“We have a port that is available to take ships now,” he told KYW Newsradio. “A lot of other ports on the east coast are crowded. Newark, New Jersey, is probably one of the most crowded. And this is a tremendous impact that can lead us to attract more work.”
Corbett says this will mean jobs — approximately 635 jobs and an additional 200 vendors and others who will come in to serve those working.
Horizon Lines officials were equally optimistic.
“I feel like we are Rocky Balboa,” said Sam Woodward, president and chief executive officer of Horizon Lines (at lectern in photo). “We are back! For us the capstone event is coming to Philadelphia. This will be the best service in the northeast, period.”
The announcement was met with cheers from dozens of nearby dockworkers.