New trade route promises economic boost between Philly and Mexico
The Governor of Pennsylvania Tom Wolf joined elected officials to celebrate the new direct sea trade route between Mexico’s east coast and Philadelphia, a new venture that promises economic boost and job opportunities for the region.
SeaLand, the intra-Americas regional ocean carrier, launched the new shipping service under the name “SeaLand Atlantico” at the end of last month.
Designed to expand options between Mexico and the U.S. East Coast, the all-water service offers a 6-day transit from Altamira and Veracruz to Philadelphia. From there, Mexican shippers are able to access up to 40 percent of the U.S. population within only a day's drive.
“We are here after more than two and a half years of hard work. SeaLand took the bold step to establish the service, something that wasn’t done in the last 35 years. Now we need to fill the ships on the way up and on the way down,” said Carlos Giralt-Cabrales, consul of Mexico in Philadelphia.
He added that is important promote the benefits of this service. “SeaLand Atlantico is cheaper, faster and can hold more loads per container and will create jobs in Pennsylvania, in Philadelphia and in Mexico. We also produce a bigger margin for the exporter for the producers and for the consumers,” the consul said.
Giralt-Cabrales told AL DÍA that in 2013, trade between Mexico and Pennsylvania reached almost $4,000 million dollars. "With Philadelphia as the epicenter, this service allows us to connect all the central and eastern United States, offering a great incentive for the supply chain of importers and exporters. It is a dream that we had been cultivating for years and now has become a reality."
Governor Tom Wolf described the Philadelphia port as one of the greatest resources for the commonwealth.
“We can do so much more to exploit what we have here, which will mean jobs, economic redevelopment not only for this region but for all of Pennsylvania. Our state is within 500 miles of 60 percent of the Canadian and U.S. market,” Wolf said. “Philadelphia, which already is the fourth largest port in the United States for imports, is in good position to actually take advantage of the connection that already exists with Mexico.”
The Aztec country is the second largest export market for Pennsylvania and New Jersey. In 2014, New Jersey, Delaware and Pennsylvania shipped over $6 billion worth of goods to Mexico, with the Keystone State contributing more than 50 percent.
“This means manufacturers from the Greater Philadelphia metro area now have a more efficient, economical way to get to the growing markets of Mexico. It’s exactly the kind of growth my administration likes to see as we continue to invest in and improve the Port of Philadelphia,” Wolf said.
This new direct sea route is especially geared for producers and exporters of perishable goods to the U.S., ideal for moving goods such as avocados, lemons, tomatoes and commercial cargo.
The rail access from Philadelphia will allow further connectivity to major cities in the U.S. and Canada with a 4-day transit time to Chicago and Cleveland, five days to Columbus and Montreal and six days to Toronto.
Mayor Jim Kenney was not present at the press conference, but he did highlight this new venture on Wednesday in his address to the Greater Philadelphia Chamber of Commerce.
"Consider SeaLand’s Atlantico Service,” the mayor said. “This new direct maritime route will begin operating at the Port this month -offering cargo shippers that traditionally move via truck between Mexico and Northeast U.S. an efficient all-water alternative. Trade between Mexico and Pennsylvania amounted to close to $7 billion in 2013. Think of how that number could grow once even larger ships can enter our harbor.”