Tidbit Tuesday | Philadelphia’s Freight Centers

On Tuesdays, the Mayor’s Office of Transportation & Utilities (MOTU) posts a map or graphic that tells a story about transportation or utilities in the City of Brotherly Love.

Freight centers are among the most visible examples of the close relationship between transportation and the economy. This week, we took a look at Philadelphia’s freight centers, investigating what they are used for, how large they are, and how many jobs they generate.

Freight Blog Post-01

The chart above illustrates what the land at the city’s eight freight centers is used for.  Freight centers cover 9,200 acres in Philadelphia.  Light and heavy manufacturing uses accounted for total of 57% of freight center land. Examples of goods produced in these areas include clothing, furniture, ships, and steel. Goods produced at freight center are then shipped off to various buyers via rail, truck, train, or airplane. Unsurprisingly, a significant proportion– a third– of freight center land is devoted to transportation.

As the chart below shows, the largest freight centers in the city are located at Northeast Philadelphia Airport/Byberry Road, Schuylkill River West, and Schuylkill River East. The graphics above are based on data from 2009 — a difficult year for the economy. In that year, these centers hosted 67,610 jobs.

Freight Blog Post-02 


The freight data above were collected in 2009 and published by the Delaware Valley Regional Planning Commission in 2012; DVRP’s study can be found here.


Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: