Making Investments to Support an Economic Engine

From The Front Lines
joseph m. morris

The Port of Boston was America’s first port, settled in the 1600s, providing commerce and opportunity to the region and country through waterborne commerce. Nearly 400 years later, the Port of Boston has reinvented itself as a key gateway for New England and the Northeast United States, connecting the region through commerce, tourism, and access to global markets.

Conley Terminal is owned and operated by the Massachusetts Port Authority (Massport), which allows the Port of Boston to offer agility and efficiency without bottlenecks. The Port of Boston is a solution to maintaining schedule reliability on the East Coast, as customers and carriers benefit from 18 vessel start times, rapid container availability, a near-dock chassis pool, and connectivity to major north/south and east/west interstates less than one mile from the gate.

The Conley Terminal Modernization Project has been essential in growing the footprint for New England’s only full-service container terminal, solidifying the Port’s role as an economic engine for the Commonwealth of Massachusetts and the New England region. The Port of Boston generates $8.2 billion in annual economic impact and supports more than 66,000 jobs. Conley Terminal enables more than 2,500 businesses throughout Massachusetts and New England to ship and receive products globally with excellent service.

The extraordinary investments and significant support from our Massachusetts Congressional Delegation, the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, U.S. Department of Transportation and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers allowed Massport to modernize and expand access to the Port of Boston, making the Port more attractive to new business today and in the future.

Massport has set an ambitious goal of becoming Net Zero by 2031, the Authority’s 75th anniversary, and projects reflect that commitment. Ranging from the installation of LED yard lighting to power retrofits of our rubber-tired gantry fleet to reduce the impact of emissions. During the modernization efforts we have kept our Net Zero efforts at the core, resulting in several awards:

  • The Environmental Business Council of New England’s James D.P. Farrell Brownfields-Remediation Project of the Year for Conley Terminal’s Soil Reclamation and Reuse Program.
  • Construction Management Association of America’s Project Achievement Award in the Environmental Category.
  • Engineering News Record’s top honors as the New England Project of the Year and Best Project Excellence in Sustainability and Special Construction.
  • The U.S. Department of Energy’s Better Buildings Initiatives recognized Conley Terminal as a case study in lighting upgrades throughout the terminal.

Conley Terminal added four new services calling Boston in 2022. The investments that took place over several years were noticed by the international ocean carrier community, increasing Boston’s global direct connectivity to 26 ports throughout China, Southeast Asia, the Indian Subcontinent, North Europe, the Mediterranean, the Middle East and Latin America. We have been able to partner with the carriers to take advantage of the new infrastructure improvements by bringing larger vessels, providing access to a market of 15 million consumers with more frequency and reach.

The Port of Boston continues to look to the future as we diversify our business lines to serve the New England region. Cruise passengers at Flynn Cruiseport Boston rebounded after the industry took a nearly two-year hiatus during the pandemic, with ships sailing at 100% capacity. The Port will welcome more Caribbean sailings in 2024, diversifying our destinations and welcoming our newest homeport partner, Princess Cruises, to provide memorable experiences for our cruise guests.

As America’s first port, Boston has a rich tradition of facilitating trade and commerce. The Massport team and local stakeholders are vested in building on that history to continue developing an even brighter future for the port as we strive to deliver value to the local and regional economy through unwavering commitments to environmental excellence, efficient and safe operations, and a focus on service.