Seaports Magazine - Spring 2017 - 18

grant money," Edberg says, "we spent a lot
of time promoting the project to legislators,
government agencies and potential partners. Anyone who would listen, we talked
about removing the bottleneck, increasing
capacity, increasing velocity, as well as the
benefits of redevelopment." It was a convincing story: potential for revenue generation, improvement to the community, job
creation and solving the long-term freight
and passenger rail congestion. In addition
to the TIGER II grant the port received,
they also got funds from other state and
federal grants, general obligation bonds,
tenants and BNSF. The multi-phase project
is comprised of 21 separate projects, and
the final ones in the program are under
construction currently. "We had to compete
with everybody else for the money," Edberg
says. "There's always competition for [federal and state] dollars, and you're up against
highway and rail projects, other ports, and
the municipal government." Despite the
overwhelming success of raising $275 million, Edberg acknowledges, "The story
doesn't tell how many grants we pursued
that we didn't get. If you lose, you have to
go after the next one and be persistent."
At the Philadelphia Regional Port
Authority: Port of Philadelphia, the story
is about expansion funding to increase
business. The port sees 6 million metric
tons of cargo per year, about 50 percent
in containers and the other half a combination of breakbulk, dry and liquid bulk.
Jeff Theobald, Executive Director and
CEO, explains that the port just received
a commitment of $300 million from the
state of Pennsylvania for infrastructure
updates. "It's the only project of that size
that Philadelphia has had in 100 years,"
Theobald says. He describes Pennsylvania
Governor Tom Wolf as a champion of port
improvements. "He agrees that by increasing infrastructure, you'll be creating an
economic engine for the state."
The $300 million will be dedicated to
increasing the cargo handling capacity at
the port for containers, breakbulk and autos.
Expanding container terminal size and adding more container cranes to handle larger
ships. Additionally, this funding will pay
for improvements and expansion of auto
processing capabilities as well as expansion of dry and refrigerated warehouses to
serve customers. "As you put the capital into
18

AAPA SEAPORTS MAGAZINE

"When you have a need,
you gather your partners
and your messages. Go
out and look for those
opportunities. The
money is out there if you
tell a really good story."
-Abbi Russell, Port of Vancouver USA
the terminals, that allows them to do more
business. That creates more jobs, which
creates more tax revenue for the state,"
Theobald says. "It's a capital investment
that will create jobs not only in Philadelphia
but have a ripple effect throughout the state
of Pennsylvania."
There's a methodology for getting money
as well as deciding how to spend it. The port
has outlined the next three to four years and
how the $300 million will be spent. The
port had to show its economic value and
illustrate how securing additional funding
would grow that value to benefit the state.
"It takes a lot of work to get this kind of
money," Theobald points out. "You have to
garnish support and alignment from elected
officials, labor, community organizations
and business."
The Port of Philadelphia has also applied
for a $25 million FASTLANE grant to supplement state funding. The $300 million
already committed to the port will be used
to expand property and construct warehouse space, but an additional $25 million
would allow the port to do more. Theobald
emphasizes this is expansion and efficiency
improvement funding, not maintenance
funding. "At this stage, the port is getting
documents together for construction bids.
He says, "We're very excited about the funding support and moving forward."
In the past general election, Rhode
Island ports benefited from a major funding victory: a state issuance of $70 million,
$20 million of which is marked for ProvPort
(the other $50 million is for the Port of
Davisville). Bill Fischer, spokesperson for
ProvPort, has been working with the port to
inform key stakeholders about its economic
importance. "Before the bond discussion,
I wouldn't say ProvPort was a household
name in Rhode Island, but it produces

hundreds of millions of dollars in economic
activity for the state and the city," he says.
When Governor Gina Raimondo released
a budget in February 2016 that called for a
bond to repair Davisville's infrastructure,
it presented an opportunity for ProvPort to
join the conversation. "Two ports serving
a public purpose - why not float a bond to
support both ports at once?" Fischer says.
ProvPort's biggest issue is lack of space.
Fischer states, "The port has been marketed
so well that we're out of land." There is
vacant land off the current property line,
and with $20 million to spend, ProvPort
plans to expand and market the acquired
area to new tenants and new operations. In
addition to land acquisition, part of the $20
million will be used for site prep. Nearly
as soon as the expansion area is pad-ready,
ProvPort will be marketing it and anticipates a positive response from prospective
tenants. "We're not constructing a facility and hoping someone comes," Fischer
clarifies. The $20 million is "a good starting
point," Fischer says and allows ProvPort
the first-time opportunity to partner with
the state. The partnership will work thusly:
the state will own the land, ProvPort will
market and operate the expansion area,
and both share the revenue stream. "We
have every confidence that port improvements will improve the quality of life for
Rhode Islanders," Fischer says. "We're
going to put them to work." Expansion
will allow ProvPort, which sees a lot of
bulk cargo pass through and exports such
as used automobiles, to explore additional
markets with greater job density, such as
refrigerated foods. "We're always looking
at opportunities for matching funds, but
the bond just passed last November so
we're involved in current next steps with
that, meeting with the city and state,"
Fischer says.
As ProvPort and Philadelphia begin their
projects and Vancouver USA concludes its
multipart project, all three ports stand as
testament to the possibility of accomplishing expansion and freight goals without
leaning too heavily on government funding.
Securing government funding doesn't come
easy. Working with officials at the state and
city level, forging relationships with tenants,
and telling a compelling story are all ways
to leverage additional funds and make port
projects possible.  ●



Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Seaports Magazine - Spring 2017

AAPA Headquarters
From the President’s Desk
Ports’ Power as Conveners
FAST Act Impact
Following Up on the Funding Trail
Infrastructure Coordination: Competing Globally, Acting Locally
A Digital Vision of Leadership: Using Technology to Improve the Supply Chain in Los Angeles
XXV Latin American Congress of Ports
Every American, Every Day is Impacted by Port Activities
LED Lighting – The Right Choice for Ports?
Index of Advertisers
Seaports Magazine - Spring 2017 - into
Seaports Magazine - Spring 2017 - bellyband1
Seaports Magazine - Spring 2017 - bellyband2
Seaports Magazine - Spring 2017 - cover1
Seaports Magazine - Spring 2017 - cover2
Seaports Magazine - Spring 2017 - 3
Seaports Magazine - Spring 2017 - 4
Seaports Magazine - Spring 2017 - 5
Seaports Magazine - Spring 2017 - AAPA Headquarters
Seaports Magazine - Spring 2017 - 7
Seaports Magazine - Spring 2017 - From the President’s Desk
Seaports Magazine - Spring 2017 - 9
Seaports Magazine - Spring 2017 - Ports’ Power as Conveners
Seaports Magazine - Spring 2017 - 11
Seaports Magazine - Spring 2017 - 12
Seaports Magazine - Spring 2017 - 13
Seaports Magazine - Spring 2017 - FAST Act Impact
Seaports Magazine - Spring 2017 - 15
Seaports Magazine - Spring 2017 - 16
Seaports Magazine - Spring 2017 - Following Up on the Funding Trail
Seaports Magazine - Spring 2017 - 18
Seaports Magazine - Spring 2017 - 19
Seaports Magazine - Spring 2017 - Infrastructure Coordination: Competing Globally, Acting Locally
Seaports Magazine - Spring 2017 - 21
Seaports Magazine - Spring 2017 - 22
Seaports Magazine - Spring 2017 - 23
Seaports Magazine - Spring 2017 - A Digital Vision of Leadership: Using Technology to Improve the Supply Chain in Los Angeles
Seaports Magazine - Spring 2017 - 25
Seaports Magazine - Spring 2017 - XXV Latin American Congress of Ports
Seaports Magazine - Spring 2017 - 27
Seaports Magazine - Spring 2017 - Every American, Every Day is Impacted by Port Activities
Seaports Magazine - Spring 2017 - 29
Seaports Magazine - Spring 2017 - LED Lighting – The Right Choice for Ports?
Seaports Magazine - Spring 2017 - 31
Seaports Magazine - Spring 2017 - Index of Advertisers
Seaports Magazine - Spring 2017 - 33
Seaports Magazine - Spring 2017 - 34
Seaports Magazine - Spring 2017 - cover3
Seaports Magazine - Spring 2017 - cover4
Seaports Magazine - Spring 2017 - divider1
Seaports Magazine - Spring 2017 - divider2
Seaports Magazine - Spring 2017 - 41
Seaports Magazine - Spring 2017 - 42
Seaports Magazine - Spring 2017 - 43
Seaports Magazine - Spring 2017 - 44
Seaports Magazine - Spring 2017 - 45
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