Port of New Bedford

America's #1 Fishing Port

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About the Port of New Bedford

A leading intermodal port for the 21st century

The Port is the City of New Bedford’s greatest natural resource and most critical economic stimulant. Located on the southern Massachusetts coast, the Port has become a major intermodal shipping center for the Northern U.S. market and beyond. The Port is also strategically positioned to serve as a vital hub in the emerging American Marine Highways program (AMH).

Today, the busy Port of New Bedford is home to over 200 maritime businesses, including an active and growing cargo shipping industry, bulk and breakbulk cargo facilities, a commercial fleet of 500 fishing vessels, two inter-island ferry services, a cruising industry, numerous shipyards and vessel repair facilities.

The Port of New Bedford services a diverse group of industrial and commercial marine activities. As a port of call for major shippers, the Port receives 300 vessel calls per year. These include a significant volume of refrigerated cargo and a variety of commodities and products shipped to and from destinations around the globe and along the eastern North American seaboard. Cargo destinations include Central and South America, Canada, Europe, Africa and beyond. Annual imports/exports average:

123,000 tons of bulk/breakbulk fish product
400,000 tons of bulk aggregate/sand
134,000 tons of bulk petroleum products
65,000 tons of other breakbulk cargo
(85,000 tons of other breakbulk forecasted in 2012)

Marine cargo activities average a total value of $730 million in goods handled and these activities continue to grow. As an example, one of our refrigerated cargo operations, Maritime International Incorporated, experienced a more than 50% increase in vessel calls in 2009 compared to 2008. The future promises continued expansion not only in cargo volumes, but also in the types of commercial and industrial marine activities conducted in the port. 

In 2011, for the 12th consecutive year, according to National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), the Port of New Bedford is ranked first in the U.S. in value of fish landings estimated at $369 million.

Moving into the Future

Continuing in its rich maritime history, in 2010, the Port of New Bedford became the recipient party of a U.S. Department of Transportation Maritime Administration Grant and is leading a consortium of East Coast ports and state agencies in a study to develop the East Coast Marine Highway initiative under the American Marine Highways Program. As a result of this initiative the Port of New Bedford will be a key player in the future of coastal shipping in the U.S.

Also in 2010, with the U.S. Department of the Interior approval the Port was designated as home port to host facilities supporting wind energy development off the coast of Massachusetts. The Port has thus moved forward to develop the New Bedford Marine Commerce Terminal to host an Energy Service Port and service the offshore wind energy program.

With expansion of our commercial endeavors the Port of New Bedford is undertaking a broad economic development initiative to upgrade and improve its marine infrastructure including a dredging initiative to maintain authorized depths at channels and fairways, as well as deepening many channels and berths to accommodate larger vessels.

The Port of New Bedford has it all!

  • Access to New England and global markets
  • The most protected deepwater port on the Eastern Seaboard with a hurricane barrier
  • Direct links to highway (I-195, I-95, I-93, I-495, Route 140, Route 24 and Route 128), rail (Mass Coastal Railroad), and air (New Bedford Regional Airport), rail and air
  • Foreign Trade Zone (FTZ) #28 designation provides dutyfree manufacturing opportunities for importers and exporters
  • A strategic position on the AMH Corridor
  • No Harbor Maintenance Tax
  • Unparalleled services including shipping agencies, freight forwarding, stevedores, and truck brokering
  • 4.5 million cubic feet of cold storage with excellent distribution and warehousing facilities
  • Skilled marine labor force
  • Modern terminals and wharfs

NB MAP in relation to US Coast

Steeped in 350 years of maritime history, the Port of New Bedford is primed for growth as an intermodal shipping port. The Port has implemented a major capital improvement program to meet the needs of future ocean shipping including:

  • Deepening of channels and berths
  • Improvements to intermodal connectivity
  • Modernization and expansion of marine terminals and wharves.

The Port of New Bedford has always been, and will always be, a working port.

Activities operating through the Port include:

Intermodal Transport: The Port currently has ship-to-truck access at multiple facilities supporting an active bulk and breakbulk shipping industry, ship-to-rail access is currently available at the North Terminal Area and New Bedford Marine Commerce Park will be the Off-shore Wind Energy Service Terminal. A regional airport lies just three miles away.

Bulk Cargo: From within the three Terminal Areas, the Port host several major building materials transport businesses which ship sand, gravel, fuel, and other bulk materials to the offshore Islands and other Ports in the Region.

Break-bulk Cargo: The Port transports between 60,000 to 150,000 tons of break bulk commodities: 4.5 million cubic feet of cold storage (183,000 square feet) and an 80,000 square foot heated warehouse.

Containerized Caro: The Port offers more than adequate staging facilities for the transport of containerized cargo.  Up to 500 containers can be stored on stie at State Pier with over 50 acres of storage available off site.

Project Cargo: The Port's facilities offer the capacity to accommodate project cargo transport and heavy lifts.  Recently, the Port of New Bedford accommodated the transport of two 100-ton and one 150-ton turbines barged from Albany and transported to a power plant in Dartmouth, MA.

Ro/Ro Cargo: New Bedford State Pier is equipped with a Ro-Ro Ramp to support the transport of various roll-on/roll-off cargo loads.

Vessel Repair: The Port is home to numerous facilities that specialize in the maintenance and repair of large vessels and has one of the largest concentrations of shipwrights and vessel craftsmen in the Northeast.

Fishing Fleet: The Port hosts a commercial fleet of 500 fishing vessels and supports over 200 fishing related industries from processors to some of the largest freezer facilities on the East Coast U.S.

Ferry and Cruise Operations: The Port hosts two-inter island ferry services and over 20 cruise ship visits per season, making Port of New Bedford one of the most visited passenger ports in Massachusetts and the Northeast U.S.

With excellent road, rail and vessel connections to the Northeastern U.S., Canada and the world, the Port of New Bedford is poised to become a leading intermodal port into the 21st century and beyond.

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