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Our Port Supports a Unique Blend of Industrial & Commercial Activities

The NBPA represents a wide array of harbor interests and one of its primary roles is to support economic development along the waterfront. The NBPA has planning, developing, and financing authority for city properties within the Port. For over 40 years, the NBPA has overseen private development on the waterfront and has actively developed locations for marine industrial use, including North Terminal, South Terminal, and the New Bedford Ferry Terminal at State Pier.


Commercial Fishing

The Port serves as the city’s greatest natural resource and most critical asset, stimulating investment, attracting new industry, creating jobs and developing a healthy economy. More than 6,800 people are directly employed by New Bedford’s commercial port. New Bedford is the number one value fishing port in the nation generating economic activity in excess of $11.1 billion and related employment of more than 40,000 people (see Martin Associates 2018 report). The fishing fleet of 500 lands over 122 million pounds of product annually leveraging $322 million in direct sales.


In addition to commercial fishing, the Port supports a diverse market of cargo transport and handles more than $230 million in shipping of bulk commodities and break-bulk cargo. Barge operations move aggregate and break-bulk cargo to the Islands of Martha’s Vineyard and Nantucket. The Port handles more break-bulk handling of perishable items than any other port  in Massachusetts and its adjacent states, particularly clementines shipped from North Africa. With its waterfront warehouse capacity, Maritime International has one of the largest USDA-approved cold treatment centers on the East Coast for the use of restricted imported fruit. Port calls vary between one and two days per discharge.

Foreign Trade Zone

The Port is also a Foreign Trade Zone (FTZ #28) which provides duty-free manufacturing opportunities for importers and exporters. The City of New Bedford is the grantee and holder of FTZ #28 and the Port, Regional Airport, and adjacent areas make up the FTZ. This designation gives a competitive advantage to foreign businesses looking to trade in US markets.  Read more about FTZ #28


Finally, the maturing nexus between marine science, the commercial fishing industry, and technology innovators puts New Bedford on the forefront as a leader in marine education, research, technology, and innovation.

Supporting a Unique Blend of Uses




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