Massachusetts Port Authority officials are taking a victory lap after completing infrastructure projects at the Port of Boston’s Conley Container Terminal. The win includes the Butler Freight Corridor, a dedicated truck route that shrinks the trip to major highways to minutes.
“Supporting these critical infrastructure projects at Conley Container Terminal is crucial to Massachusetts and New England’s competitiveness in the global marketplace,” Gov. Charlie Baker reportedly said. “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.”
Through a combination of local, state, and federal investment, the Port of Boston anticipates spending more than $850 million in upgrades. Achieving the recent goal is expected to expedite tractor-trailer efficiency and allow larger container vessels to dock in Boston. Along with the newly minted truck route, the Port Authority is touting the completion of the following.
- New 50-foot-deep berth to accommodate the new cranes and larger ships.
- Three fully electric ship-to-shore cranes to serve ships carrying up to 14,000 TEU.
- Deepening of the main ship channel and Reserved Channel to below 47 feet.
- Deepening of the outer harbor to below 51 feet.
- Expand the Turning Basin for larger vessels.
The Port Authority also made terminal improvements involving new rubber-tired gantry cranes, expanded container storage, and refrigerated container racks, among others. The massive investment at the Port of Boston comes at a time when international trade routes are being retooled. Shippers from Asia and other areas have been sending container vessels to Gulf and East Coast ports in response to West Coast operations suffering bottlenecks in 2021.
“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,” Massport CEO Lisa Wieland reportedly said. “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.”
Growth at the Port of Boston will ultimately rely on increased trucking and rail freight operations to maintain a steady flow of goods and materials. Officials appear to be betting they can create good-paying opportunities to attract truck drivers, freight carriers, and warehouse construction. The following infrastructure investments are still in the works.
- Upgrades to Berths 11 and 12.
- Additional capacity for refrigerated cargo.
- Terminal technologies and equipment upgrades.
- Upgraded gate processing facilities.
- New container yard to expand capacity by 30 percent.
With this phase completed, Conley Terminal has the bandwidth to offer direct trade connections to 25 ports in China, North Europe, Southeast Asia, the Mediterranean, the Middle East, and Latin America. The Port of Boston reportedly has an economic impact that exceeds $8.2 billion annually and is the bedrock of 66,000 jobs.