Singapore company buys Port of Wilmington rival Penn Terminals

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A rival to the Port of Wilmington has a new owner

Singapore-based PSA International Pte Ltd completed the acquisition of Penn Terminals (Penn) located on the Delaware River in Eddystone, PA from Macquarie Infrastructure Partners, a fund managed by Macquarie Infrastructure and Real Assets.

Macquarie is based in Australia and operates a number of entities that include Delaware Funds and Lincoln National, an insurance company.

“This acquisition represents PSA’s very first foray into the USA. We are delighted to embrace Penn as the newest member of the global PSA family and to be able to participate in its continued growth and expansion. We are committed to partnering the state of Pennsylvania, customers, staff and the local community, as well as key stakeholders to augment Penn’s capabilities and connectivity in order to better serve the needs of shippers and receivers in the greater US Mid-Atlantic region and beyond,” said Tan Chong Meng, Group CEO, PSA International.

“Since we acquired Penn Terminals in 2008, we have worked closely with the Penn management team to reliably, safely and efficiently handle customers’ cargo,” said Karl Kuchel, CEO of Macquarie Infrastructure Partners. “We are proud of the growth that Penn has achieved under our ownership and look forward to seeing this continue under PSA’s ownership.”

Penn underwent a capacity upgrade with the addition of two new Ship-to-Shore (STS) cranes in late 2018; bringing its total STS count to four.

Penn also has perishable cargo handling infrastructure of the Delaware River with approximately 2,850,000 cubic feet of on-dock warehouse space. It is estimated that close to 40 percent of the US fruit imports come in via the Delaware River.

Fresh fruit is a key market for the Port of Wilmington. The port has seen rivals attempt to take away the fresh fruit business.

There are around 40 other refrigerated warehouses/logistics operators within an hour’s drive of Delawre Valley ports.

The existing “cold chain infrastructure” is not easily replicated, either in scope or level of efficiency. Penn remains a proud partner in the cold chain infrastructure of the eastern USA.

PSA also operates ports in Canada.

With flagship operations in Singapore and Antwerp, PSA’s portfolio comprises a network of over 50 coastal, rail and inland terminals in 18 countries.

The PSA deal follows, Emirates-based Gulftainer signing a long-term lease last year to operate the state-operated Port of Wilmington. The state-owned corporation had struggled to find money for capital improvements at the port.

Plans call for Gulftainer to build a container port at the former Chemours titanium site in Edgemoor. The site could attract container ships that would not have to bear the time and expense of sailing upriver to Philadelphia.

Emirates-based Gulftainer saw opposition to its Delaware plans from anti-Islamic groupsbut gained near-unanimous approval from the General Assembly. Both Penn Terminals and Gulftainer had to go through regulatory approvals from the federal government.

Macquarie Infrastructure and Real Assets has managed U$129 billion in assets that include ports and farmland.

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