Terminal Specifications

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High Loading Capacity

The New Bedford Marine Commerce Terminal’s high capacity quayside is supported by a complex system of cofferdams, a pile-supported marginal wharf and geotechnically-competent, dense aggregate that allows for heavy uniform and concentrated loads.

Whereas many ports have a small quayside area specifically designated as the single hard point, over 21 acres of the New Bedford Marine Commerce Terminal’s main Terminal site has the ability to sustain uniform loads of 4,100 pounds per square foot (20 metric tons per square meter) and concentrated loads of up to 20,485 pounds per square foot (100 metric tons per square meter). This loading capacity allows for cranes of all sizes to be mobile throughout the site, increasing the efficiency of the work and providing logistical flexibility.

The highest uniform load capacity cargo facility quayside on the East Coast, the Terminal is capable of supporting a 1,350 metric ton crane lifting a 500 metric ton load at 30 meters along the entire 1,000-foot (305-meter) new bulkhead and throughout the more than 21-acre main facility.


The Terminal has no on-site height restrictions and no overhead restrictions on the route from the Terminal berth to open way in Buzzards Bay. 

Tidal Range: 4 feet, on average

Distance Pilot Station to Berth: 30 nautical miles, 2 hours

Controlling Depth of Federal Channel: 28.6 feet MLLW

Controlling Depth of Terminal Approach Channel: 30 feet MLLW

Under Keel Clearance: 10% minimum

Vessel Parameters

The Terminal can accommodate the following vessel sizes, subject to acceptance by the Northeast Marine Pilots Association:

With Bow Thruster

Without Bow Thruster

LOA: 550 ft (167.6 m)

LOA: 475 ft (144.8 m)

Beam: 80 ft (24.4 m)

Beam: 75 ft (22.9 m)

Draft: 28.5 ft (8.7 m)

Draft: 28.5 ft (8.7 m)

The Pilots will consider large vessels equipped with dynamic positioning on a case-by-case basis. 

Berth Area




Main Berth

600 feet

32 feet MLLW

Northern Berth

200 feet

32 feet MLLW

Southern Berth

400 feet

14 feet MLLW

Berthing: Starboard side (bow first) 

Bollards: Main Berth and Southern Berth: 50-foot spacing, alternating 50 ton and 200 ton bollards

Additional Terminal Features

  • Ship-to-shore power outlets along the bulkhead

  • Expandable electrical system, including a 3,000 amp, 480/277V, 3 phase, 4 wire system

  • Fire protection, potable water and waste water disposal capabilities

  • State-of-the-art Vega sector lights installed along the hurricane barrier to enhance vessel navigation

  • Work and security level lighting allow for around-the-clock activities within the Designated Port Area

  • U.S. Coast Guard regulated, secure maritime facility

  • 750-ton mobile crane locally available

Stevedoring Services

MassCEC does not provide stevedoring services at the Marine Commerce Terminal.  Customers are welcome to utilize any stevedoring company, pending execution of the Stevedoring License and evaluation by MassCEC that that stevedore is in good standing.  MassCEC can provide a list of the Terminal’s Licensed Stevedores upon request.

Crane and Equipment Services

The Terminal has been designed to provide freedom of movement for very large crawler cranes across the entire 21-acre main facility and along the entire 1,000-foot new quayside.Customers shall rent/provide their own crane and other equipment services.MassCEC can provide a list of local crane, rental and equipment companies upon request.