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PhilaPort Special May 2021

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Page 19 of 39 then using a local facility to transload cargo from Philadelphia to the Midwest in hopes of avoiding the backlogs they've experienced in Elizabeth (NJ)." Daly remarked that "there is a lot of opportunity in Philadelphia, and we're glad we're there. We are going to continue focusing on expanding our business in Philadelphia, and hopefully in the not-too- distant future put up another new building to grow our footprint." Manfredi Companies, which controls 430,000 square feet of food-grade cold storage, along with transportation, logistics, as well as repacking services under its International Repack division, places an emphasis on safety — for both its employees and the food products it handles. The company is headquartered in Kennett Square, Pennsylvania. Its newest facility, Manfredi of New Jersey, is located in Pedricktown/Oldmans Township, across from the Delaware River at the intersection of the Delaware Memorial, Commodore Barry, and Walt Whitman bridges. CEO Frank Manfredi said the 52-acre site has been approved for 600,000 square feet. The first 100,000 square feet will be ready in June, "and it's already spoken for." The Manfredi of New Jersey facility was under construction when the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) appeared in 2020, which prompted considerable design changes to the new facility to ensure worker safety and sanitation. This included the addition of more employee welfare space, more bathrooms, and separation of bathrooms. Manfredi decided to implement similar design changes to the Kennett Square facility, which he said are important for creating a safe and desirable workplace for employees. "You have to have a great team of people to work with, from the people who assist me at the top to those who are loading the trucks at night, to the team that oversees our food safety program," and that requires taking care of them, Manfredi said. Hector Nunez is the food safety director for Manfredi Companies and works from the International Repack division located in Toughkenamon, Pennsylvania. "We're in the midst of very rich agricultural farmland that is also designated the mushroom capital of the world," Nunez said. Food safety is paramount at Manfredi Companies, he said. The company holds an Organic certification from CCOF and receives third-party audits from AIB and Primus. It also handles a variety of food products from 22 different countries, each with specific food-safety regulations. Enhanced food-safety and sanitation measures implemented by Manfredi Companies last year are "here to stay," Nunez said. Furthermore, increased oversight and enforcement of food safety regulations may also be more common going forward. "Previously, a company was likely to get one audit a year. However, we've undergone 12 this past year," Nunez said, noting inspections from the Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture and the US Food and Drug Administration, among others. Increased audits were likely the result of COVID-19 outbreaks at a few packing houses in the area. Manfredi Companies not only passed every inspection, but it avoided any shutdowns due to COVID-19 outbreaks. "Overall, I'm extremely proud of the work we've done throughout the past year and the challenges with COVID-19," Nunez said. "Throughout the entire industry, essential workers stepped up to make sure the food supply chain was able to continue putting food on peoples' plates." To support the growing food supply chain and keep up with its customers' needs, The Levari Group, owner and operator of First Choice Freezer & Cold Storage, is expanding its presence in Vineland, New Jersey. The First Choice facility was purchased in 2001 and has undergone three significant renovations and expansions. It currently offers 300,000 square feet of storage. M&O, The Levari Group's newest facility, THE WAREHOUSING AND distribution center industry is "on fire" in the greater Philadelphia region, with new construction and redevelopment projects scattered throughout every part, according to Sean Mahoney, director of marketing for PhilaPort. This includes the Lehigh Valley, which Mahoney described as "the most important distribution center hub on the US East Coast, second only to California's Inland Empire." Fortunately for the port, "the Lehigh Valley is … moving west and south," he noted. "As land gets more expensive, distribution centers are being built further inland. And farther west and south, from a Lehigh Valley perspective, means closer to PhilaPort." One example is a massive redevelopment project of the Keystone Industrial Port Complex in Fairless Hills, Pennsylvania. The location features 1.5 million square feet of industrial space on approximately 1,800 acres of land, which served as a steel production site for US Steel. It comes with established logistics infrastructure, including 75 miles of rail service, an inland port, and 132 kVA of power. Growth in e-commerce and last-mile delivery is driving interest from potential tenants, reported executives at Colliers International, which represented US Steel in the sale of the complex. Another project, this one in Southwest Philadelphia, is being led by Hilco Redevelopment Partners, which announced in June 2020 the purchase of the 1,300-acre former Philadelphia Energy Solutions (PES). The former PES site is being redeveloped into one of the largest multimodal logistics hubs in the United States. Warehousing and DCs flock to Philadelphia region PhilaPort stakeholders expect significant volume increases in citrus products in 2021. A SPECIAL ADVERTISING SUPPLEMENT OF THE JOURNAL OF COMMERCE 20 | May 24 2021 PHILADELPHIA TRADE & LOGISTICS

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