By the BF Staff
From the May/June 2019 Issue
Delaware is getting the attention of companies who want to grow or relocate, with its enviable location along the East Coast, easy access to international airports as well as the I-95 corridor, a major port with international and domestic cargo capabilities as well as an Amtrak hub. And Gulftainer’s multimillion-dollar investment in the Port of Wilmington is adding to Delaware’s appeal. The Port of Wilmington is less than 65 miles from the Atlantic Ocean and within a 10-hour truck drive of 30 percent of the U.S. population.
When you combine these features with Delaware’s signature business-friendly attitude, varied talent pool and low cost-of-doing business, Delaware is hearing from more and more manufacturing companies looking to grow or relocate. Businesses are learning that you can get anywhere from Delaware.
With output of nearly $5 billion, manufacturing is a major force in Delaware’s economy and the second-largest traded sector. Delaware features a remarkable diversity in manufacturing that enhances economic stability and minimizes volatility, with a range of products including advanced materials, analytical instruments, biopharmaceuticals, chemicals, performance products, pet foods, space suits, industrial gases, clean tech, construction materials and more.
Delaware also shines when it comes to getting products where they need to go. Its location on the MidAtlantic coast and its investment in infrastructure makes logistics another core strength. Warehousing employment in the state has quintupled over the past five years.
Delaware Technical Community College offers many two-year programs to develop the skills needed for advanced manufacturing and logistics jobs, and the state recently implemented the advanced manufacturing Pathways program, where high school students receive more than 600 hours of instruction and hands-on experience in Delaware Tech’s labs and complete a 200-hour paid craftsmanship.
Dot Foods, the largest food industry redistributor in North America, continues to grow, officially breaking ground on its 12th distribution center. The new $36-million facility will be constructed on 35 acres of land in Bear, DE—about 50 miles southwest of Philadelphia. They plan to hire 200 people by 2022.
The new Delaware distribution center will house main and outbuilding facilities totaling over 188,609 square feet. That includes more than 111,000 square feet of refrigerated, frozen and dry storage warehouse space; 12,600 square feet of office space; and a 9,700-square-foot garage.
“We are excited to move this project into the next phase,” said Dick Tracy, Dot Foods President. “Dot Foods Delaware joins our other two East Coast locations and will allow us to even better serve our customers in Delaware, Eastern Pennsylvania, New Jersey, New York and Connecticut.”
TRANSFORMING THE PORT OF WILMINGTON INTO A LOGISTICS HUB
The Port of Wilmington is being transformed into the largest logistics facility on the Delaware River.
Already a full-service, strategically located seaport serving more than 200 million North American consumers, the Port of Wilmington is being renovated and expanding.
In 2018, Emirati port operator Gulftainer signed a 50-year lease with the State of Delaware to privately operate the Port of Wilmington. With its plans to invest approximately $600 million in upgrades, including an expansion of the existing terminal and construction of a new, 1.2 million-TEU terminal; the already busy port will quintuple its capacity. The expansion of the Port of Wilmington by Gulftainer is the largest investment by a private UAE company in the United States and elevates the Port of Wilmington as the largest logistics facility on the Delaware River.
Of the $600-million investment, $410 million will be devoted to the construction of a new container terminal, $85 million to build a new cold storage distribution center and $73 million to invest in the existing infrastructure. The expansion of the existing dock and crane rail already is underway.
Delaware has a storied history in manufacturing and logistics and the Port of Wilmington plays an essential role in enhancing Delaware’s enviable location along the Northeast corridor. Furthermore, the agreement will significantly bolster Delaware’s economy and trade capabilities.
Gulftainer’s royalty payments will provide income for the State of up to $13 million over the next decade, creating a new revenue stream for the State and its citizens.
“We are proud to be making this long-term commitment to the State of Delaware, its community and its economy. This landmark agreement builds on Gulftainer’s 43-year track record of delivering excellence and dependability in ports and logistics operations around the world, and we are confident that this public-private partnership will propel the Port of Wilmington towards becoming the principal gateway of the Eastern Seaboard,” said Badr Jafar, Chairman of Gulftainer’s Executive Board.