(Philadelphia, PA) – The Port of Philadelphia welcomes a new shipping service, according to a news release.

Governor Tom Wolf visited the Port of Philadelphia (PhilaPort) on Thursday to welcome Wan Hai Lines, Ltd. as the company completed their maiden call to Philadelphia, dramatically expanding trade between Pennsylvania and Asia. 

“The port is an economic driver, not only in Philadelphia but across the commonwealth,” said Gov. Wolf. “I’ve always known that the port is a huge asset for Pennsylvania, as well as our local and national supply chains. That’s why I’ve made it a top priority to support PhilaPort by making new investments to help the port redevelop, expand, and modernize. Today’s maiden call marks a new chapter for PhilaPort and our commonwealth, which will bring a big boost to the port and our economy here in Pennsylvania.”

Since 2016, Gov. Wolf has invested more than $539 million in the port’s infrastructure, warehousing, and equipment.

In a news release, critical infrastructure investments included the purchase and implementation of three new super post-Panamax cranes at the Packer Avenue Marine terminal, the building of two new state-of-the-art warehouses, and the development of the Southport Auto Terminal, the first new port terminal in more than 45 years.

Since implementing the infrastructure improvement plan, the port has realized record-breaking cargo volumes, nearly 60 percent container growth, and created thousands of new jobs.

The governor’s office states that Wan Hai Lines, Ltd. will have a weekly container service making calls from Philadelphia to Asian markets in China, Taiwan, and Vietnam. This is the first time that Philadelphia will have a direct, weekly service to this international region and its fast-growing economies. 

The governor was joined Thursday by PhilaPort executives, Philadelphia Mayor Jim Kenney, Wan Hai Lines Vice-Chair Randy Chen, Deputy Director of the Taipei Economic and Cultural Office Rita Chen, and U.S. Customs and Border Protection Area Port Director for the Port of Philadelphia Joseph V. Martella to celebrate the maiden call. 

“Thank you to the port’s leadership and staff for your hard work and dedication to making PhilaPort a leader in shipping, and to Wan Hai Lines for recognizing the potential that exists here in Philadelphia for new container service,” said Gov. Wolf. “It’s an honor to be here with everyone today to mark this important milestone and I look forward to your upcoming successes.”

Watch the full press conference below.