Pennsylvania bill would provide relief for port truckers

January 24, 2023

Keith Goble

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If a Pennsylvania state lawmaker gets her way, relief could soon be on the way for some port trucking operations in the state.

A renewed effort at the statehouse is intended to reimburse Pennsylvania-based companies for their tolls when transporting goods to and from port facilities in the state along the Pennsylvania Turnpike.

Recent data provided by legislators shows an analysis by the Port of Philadelphia that shippers using the Port of New York/New Jersey achieved an annual cost savings of $167,000 compared to Philadelphia. Shippers save $500,000 annually using the Port of Baltimore.

“Due to tolls on the Pennsylvania Turnpike – and the lack of tolls on highways like I-80 and I-83 – our port facilities are losing market share to New York, New Jersey and Baltimore,” Sen. Christine Tartaglione, D-Philadelphia, wrote in a memo to Senate lawmakers. “As a result, Pennsylvania and its taxpayers are essentially subsidizing the ports of Baltimore and New York/New Jersey.

“Companies need to use PhilaPort but are having to pay hundreds of dollars in tolls each run to and from the port.”

Tartaglione adds that losses in activity, or increases in costs, all translate to a negative impact on businesses, the people who work there, and the communities they support.

The statehouse pursuit marks the third time in as many sessions that Tartaglione has offered a bill to address the issue. The previous attempts failed to advance from committee. The same pursuit in the House met the same fate.

This year’s version, SB41, is in the Senate Transportation Committee. LL

More Land Line coverage of news from Pennsylvania is available.

Keith Goble has been covering trucking-related laws since 2000. His daily web reports, radio news and “OOIDA’s State Watch” in Land Line Magazine are the industry’s premier sources for information regarding state legislative affairs.