PhilaPort Investment Leads to Increased Exports of PA Logs
(February 13, 2020 – State College, PA) Pennsylvania exported $1.1 billion dollars’ worth of hardwood products last year, and PhilaPort’s investment in a new export facility has led to the Port receiving an increased share of these cargoes.
D. Wayne Bender, Executive Director of the Pennsylvania Hardwoods Development Council, coordinates the Commonwealth’s efforts to promote PA hardwoods. Speaking at Thursday’s meeting of the Council, Bender expressed his appreciation for the Port’s engagement the industry. “PhilaPort staff have helped our members overcome obstacles, providing the mills and exporters with a better logistics model.”
PhilaPort’s Senior Marketing Manager, Dominic O’Brien, spoke at the Council meeting, which took place in State College, PA. He discussed the growth in log exports via the Packer Avenue Marine Terminal, the Port’s overall strength in forest products cargoes (about 1 million tons per year) and progress made on the Port Development Plan and Channel Deepening. He also suggested ways that the hardwoods industry and the Port could work together to export more PA forest products via Pennsylvania’s International Seaport. Kurt Reichert, Director of Western Fumigation, also presented. Western, a decades-long ally and supporter of the Port, plays a key role in the continued success and expansion of this initiative.
The top Pennsylvania hardwood products are lumber, logs, furniture and paper products. Top export markets include China, the United Kingdom, Spain, and Vietnam.
The Hardwoods Development Council includes 26 individuals from the public, private, and non-profit sectors that work in the hardwoods industry. Sawmills, furniture makers, paper companies, elected officials, representatives from the Federal and Pennsylvania governments, academia, and trade associations are members.
PhilaPort Director of Marketing Sean Mahoney, while happy with the increased log exports so far, noted the big growth potential still available: “There are over 20,000 TEUs of hardwood exports from Pennsylvania and neighboring states per year. Lumber exports are even bigger. As PhilaPort attracts more ocean container services following our infrastructure improvements later this year, we will get an even bigger share of these exports.” Mahoney added that China and Southeast Asia are particularly large markets for Pennsylvania log exports.