New Quonset port director sees room to grow

One of Robert Blackburn’s most significant accomplishments while spearheading business development efforts at the Philadelphia Regional Port Authority was refurbishing a once-dormant automotive processing facility, providing a significant economic boost for the City of Brotherly Love.

Bringing Hyundai and Kia from New York and Baltimore, respectively, resulted in an average of 150,000 automobiles coming into Philadelphia’s ports, stimulating the local workforce, Blackburn said in an interview Monday morning.

Now, Blackburn has the keys to one of the nation’s largest auto import locations, with an eye toward increasing overall operations at the Port of Davisville.

Blackburn officially started his job as Quonset Development Corp.’s new port director Dec. 13. He took over the role once held by Evan Matthews, who left Quonset in September to become the Connecticut Port Authority’s new executive director after working with QDC for 13 years, the last nine as port director.

Blackburn spent 23 years at the Philadelphia Regional Port Authority serving in several roles, including as the authority’s senior deputy executive director, before moving a few hours north to Quonset Point.

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