Majestic Realty Co. SVP gives Keynote Address at Inaugural Eastern Pennsylvania Freight Summit

Press Release

Majestic Realty Co. Senior Vice President Ed Konjoyan served as the Keynote Speaker for the 2018 Eastern Pennsylvania Freight Summit. More than 250 people attended the inaugural event held on June 21st and 22nd at Lehigh University’s Mountaintop Campus.

The Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (PennDOT), in conjunction with the Lehigh Valley Planning Commission (LVPC), Tri-County Regional Planning Commission (TCRPC), and Delaware Valley Regional Planning Commission (DVRPC), hosted the summit to bring together representatives from private and public sector organizations throughout the surrounding region to discuss multimodal freight in 25 counties in Eastern Pennsylvania.

The two-day event featured a wide range of speakers and sessions focused on local, regional, state, and federal trends related to freight movement and their impact in Eastern Pennsylvania. The summit also offered guided tours of manufacturing and e-commerce facilities throughout the Lehigh Valley providing participants with a better understanding of how freight movement impacts businesses and communities.

Some of the key trends discussed throughout the two-day event included:

    • E-Commerce is Increasing Demand for Warehouse and Distribution Space – Rising e-commerce demand has dramatically increased the number and square footage of warehouse distribution facilities constructed.  Eastern Pennsylvania’s strategic geographic location— particularly the Lehigh Valley—makes it an epicenter for e-commerce-related freight movement.   A total of 19.6 million square feet (MSF) of warehouse space has been approved and/or constructed in the Lehigh Valley since 2013. An additional 12 MSF of warehouse space has been proposed, and more than 35 MSF of warehouse space has been proposed and/or constructed in less than five years.
    • Panama Canal Expansion is Driving Increases in Freight Shipping to and from Eastern Pennsylvania – The expansion of the Panama Canal is continuing to drive increased shipping to and from Pennsylvania and New York/New Jersey ports, significantly improving the marketability of ports in the Eastern U.S.  To prepare for the resultant increase in cargo shipments resulting from the Panama Canal expansion, both PhilaPort and the Port of New York and New Jersey have completed or are in the process of completing port improvement projects.  The expansion is impacting U.S. freight transportation to the extent that the eastern U.S., and Eastern Pennsylvania’s Lehigh Valley in particular, is becoming competitive with California’s Inland Empire, the top freight logistics hub in the nation.
  • Inland Port Development is Needed – Even with the infrastructure improvements at both PhilaPort and the Port of New York and New Jersey, truck traffic congestion is severe in and around the ports.  Inland intermodal terminals, often referred to as ‘inland ports’, would help to alleviate freight movement congestion in and around these seaports.

Source: Eastern Pennsylvania Freight Summit