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Cargo Ports

Maine continues to follow the Three Port Strategy that was first implemented in the late 1970s to preserve the coast of Maine's resources while at the same time encouraging needed industrial port development.

The strategy promotes cargo port development in Maine's three ports of Eastport, Searsport, and Portland.  The ports have shown steady, consistent growth. In 1980, only a small amount of dry cargo was handled at the Port of Searsport and none in Eastport and Portland. Today the three ports collectively handle over 1.5 million tons of dry cargo. Additionally, Portland and Searsport also handle roughly 125 million barrels of petroleum products.

Over the years, MaineDOT has invested significantly in each of the three ports to help promote this growth. In Eastport, a $20 million facility was completed in 1998.  In Searsport, a $20 million investment in a public/private partnership with Sprague Energy resulted in a new terminal being completed in 2003.  And in Portland,  improvements to the International Marine Terminal, such as the purchase of a new container crane and additional land, has ensured that the Port of Portland remains competitive.

History of Ports and the Maritime Industry in Maine

  • Maine Maritime Academy in Castine is a college specializing in ocean and marine-oriented programs at the undergraduate and graduate levels, and continuing education for mariners. Each year they place better than 95 percent of their graduates in professional employment, a figure unsurpassed by any other college in New England and by few others in the entire nation.
  • Founded in 1962, Maine Maritime Museum in Bath collects, preserves, and interprets materials relating to the maritime history of Maine. Maine's maritime heritage is told through gallery exhibits, a historic shipyard site, adult and children's educational programs, special events, and narrated excursions along the rivers and coast to points of historic significance and scenic beauty.
  • Visit the Penobscot Maritime Museum in Searsport to discover your maritime past at Maine's oldest maritime museum.

Other Cargo Port Links


This page last upodated on 6/25/14

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