The Delaware Port Commission (DPC) was established by the Legislature of the State of New Jersey on March 10, 1925 and a report issued in 1926 by the DPC to the Legislature recommended the enactment of legislation for the creation of a South Jersey Port Commission. During 1926, the legislature created the South Jersey Port District and provided for the appointment of the South Jersey Port Commission with duties and power, among others, to lease, erect, construct, make, equip, and maintain port facilities in the port district of Mercer, Burlington, Camden, Gloucester, Salem, Cumberland and Cape May counties. The newly created Commission issued its first annual report in 1927 and began planning for new port facilities in Camden, New Jersey.
Almost 90 years later, the South Jersey Port Commission, renamed the South Jersey Port Corporation in 1968, continues to provide vital economic opportunities to the City of Camden and the South Jersey region through port development and port operations activities. Just as the Port Commission planned for new marine terminals in 1927, the Port Corporation advanced plans to develop a new marine terminal in Paulsboro, NJ during 2007. This new omniport, the first general cargo port to be developed on the Delaware River in more than 50 years, is approaching its opening.
The timeline below shows many of the important developments that have taken place under the leadership and operation of the originating organization and today’s South Jersey Port Corporation.
1927: The South Jersey Port Commission begins operations.
1931: Beckett Street Terminal opens.
1965: The Port of Camden handles a record breaking 424,173 tons, including 152,742,777 board feet of lumber.
1965: Two 25-ton capacity whirly gantry cranes are purchased and steel coils begin to arrive at the port.
1966: Ground is broken for a new 500-foot wharf at Beckett Street Terminal.
1968: State Legislature revamps the Port Commission into the South Jersey Port Corporation (SJPC).
1971: The New York Shipbuilding Corporation site is re-opened as the Broadway Terminal, operated by the South Jersey Port Corporation.
1979: The Port of Camden becomes the second largest lumber port on the East Coast of the U.S.
1983: SJPC ranks among the top 10 percent of ports worldwide and continues to grow, completing a $14.5 million expansion at Beckett St. Terminal.
1986: Mainland China calls on the Port of Camden for the first time in 40 years, with a ship laden with hardboard.
1989: Del Monte Fresh Fruit begins operations at the Broadway Terminal, making Camden its largest distribution center in the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic.
1991: SJPC handles a record breaking 1 million tons of export scrap metal.
1992: A $6 million dredging project, jointly funded by the U.S. Corps of Engineers and the Delaware River Port Authority, deepens the access channel to 40 feet from the main river channel to the Beckett Street Terminal.
1994: A new berth is constructed at the Beckett Street Terminal and an agreement is finalized for SJPC to oversee the Port of Salem.
1999: SJPC and Del Monte Fresh Fruit complete construction of a 76,500-square-foot, temperature-controlled warehouse, more than doubling the port’s fruit handling capacity and enabling growth to rise over 520,000 tons of import fresh fruits annually.
2000: SJPC and the St. Lawrence Cement Company commence a 45-year lease bringing $60 million in private investment to the City of Camden and the potential for 1 million tons of import cargo annually.
2002: SJPC issued major economic development program through a bond issue that funded the construction of Pier 1A and the purchase of heavy lift Kocks crane (Holcim).
2003: Ground was broken for Nutsco, an importer and processor of cashew nuts within the Port of Camden District.
2005: SJPC authorized $135 million in bonds for the development of Paulsboro Marine Terminal at the Port of Paulsboro.
2006: SJPC’s largest total cargo tonnage year with nearly 4 million tons of breakbulk and bulk cargo.
2006: The Port of Camden handles more than 3 million tons of cargo for the year, breaking previous records set in each of the previous three years.
2007: South Jersey Port Corporation advances plans to construct the new Paulsboro Marine Terminal.
2007: Ground was broken in October to begin construction of the Paulsboro Marine Terminal at the Port of Paulsboro.
2008: SJPC joins the DRPA and PRPA in a region-wide Green Port Initiative.
2008: TWIC becomes mandatory for access to SJPC’s marine terminals.
2009: The SJPC breaks ground on its new omniport in Paulsboro, the Paulsboro Marine Terminal scheduled to open in late 2012.
2011: Beckett Street Marine Terminal is renamed Joseph A. Balzano Marine Terminal in honor of SJPC’s late executive director Joe Balzano. The City of Camden renames Beckett Street as Joseph A. Balzano Boulevard between 2nd Street and Front Street.
2012: Hurricane Sandy passes over SJPC with little damage and business continues as usual as soon as Coast guard reopened the river.
2012: SJPC receives a federal TIGER III grant to be used in rail improvements projects in partnership with Conrail and Salem.
2014: SJPC sets new import steel record with nearly 1 million tons crossing its wharves in 2014.
2014: Board approves an agreement with Holtec International for development of Holtec’s technology and manufacturing facility at Broadway Terminal.
2014: SJPC board approves Holt Logistics as the terminal operator of Paulsboro Marine Terminal.