Major Port Improvements Completed with $850M Investment in Boston

Boston port upgrades
Massport completed upgrades to expand Boston's container service (Massport)

Published Sep 30, 2022 5:02 PM by The Maritime Executive

The Massachusetts Port Authority (Massport) marked the completion of critical infrastructure investments as part of a nearly $850 million plan to upgrade the Port of Boston. The multi-year investment is designed to accommodate bigger ships and is already resulting in new services that are connecting Boston to more global ports.

“Supporting these critical infrastructure projects at Conley Container Terminal is crucial to Massachusetts and New England’s competitiveness in the global marketplace,” said Governor Charlie Baker. “I am thankful for the collaborative efforts of our federal and state partners and Massport to help protect the thousands of local jobs throughout the Commonwealth and the future growth of the Port.”

Before the port’s modernization, Conley offered two services reaching seven major global ports. With the completion of the infrastructure investments, Conley Terminal now reports that it offers direct connectivity to China, North Europe, Southeast Asia including Vietnam and India, the Mediterranean, Middle East, and Latin America through five services. In the middle of September, the first MSC vessel on the Santana Route connecting the U.S. East Coast to Asia docked at the upgraded Boston terminal and a sixth service is scheduled to start in October. 

Among the projects that were completed was the deepening of the main ship channel and Reserved Channel to -47 feet and the outer harbor to -51 feet, and expanding the Turning Basin for larger vessels. A new 50-foot-deep berth was also created to accommodate larger ships, along with the addition of three ship-to-shore electric cranes to serve ships carrying up to 14,000 TEUs. 

Shoreside improvements also included the creation of a dedicated truck route to keep container trucks off residential roadways and allow trucks to quickly access the highway system. Massport also cites other terminal improvements, including new rubber-tire gantry cranes, expanded container storage, and new refrigerated container racks.

“With a deepened Boston Harbor and modern container facilities, the Port of Boston is providing greater global connections for Massachusetts businesses and supporting thousands of jobs,” said Massport CEO Lisa Wieland. “None of these infrastructure improvements would have been possible without the leadership and support of our Federal, State, and local elected officials and the business community.”  

Massports also received grants for a series of other projects including improvements to Berths 11 and 12, refrigerated container storage improvements that provide additional capacity for refrigerated cargo, and technologies and equipment upgrades. A new container yard behind Berth 10, will also increase Conley’s container storage capacity by nearly 30 percent.

In 2021, the port handled approximately 188,000 TEU. Among the shipping lines providing regularly scheduled service are MSC, COSCO, OOCL, Evergreen, CMA, and Zim. Port officials believe the recent investments will help them to grow volumes making Boston the leading port in the Northeast United States.