A quasi-public entity, the Bridgeport Port Authority (BPA) promotes trade and commerce and develops and promotes port facilities in the Port of Bridgeport. Its charge includes providing secure port facilities for customers, passengers, and port workers; promoting global trade and transportation; providing opportunities through the Foreign Trade Zone; and encouraging and overseeing new developments that stimulate tax revenues and jobs in the Port of Bridgeport.
The second busiest port in Connecticut, over five million tons of cargo flows through the Port of Bridgeport each year. Cargoes include fruit, sand, coal, gravel, gasoline, oil, and stone.
Located at the center of the United States' most densely populated region, the Port of Bridgeport is a non-congested, accessible gateway to the Northeast region. The Bridgeport Port Authority knows that the Bridgeport Harbor is a key economic asset for the city, the region, and the State. It develops projects and practices that reduce congestion and pollution associated with Connecticut's portion of the East Coast's major freeway, Interstate-95.
Aware of environmental considerations, BPA focuses on incorporating green practices and technologies in Port of Bridgeport activities. It is currently expanding ferry services to help regional commuters. BPA is also supervising the redevelopment of the Water Street Dock and Ferry Terminal to help revitalize the Port of Bridgeport's waterfront. The BPA is responsible for managing Foreign Trade Zone 76 in the Port of Bridgeport.
In 1999, the BPA acquired a 17.4-hectare parcel once owned by the steel industry. Closed in the early 1980s, the vacant property was littered with steel by-products, debris, building remains, a large fuel oil spill, and widespread contaminated soil. The BPA has worked to remediate the site and redevelop it into a site dedicated for water-dependent industries, the Bridgeport Regional Maritime Complex. The modern Bridgeport Regional Maritime Complex is a secure deep-water facility serving the Port of Bridgeport with unobstructed access to Long Island Sound. BPA has received several awards for excellence in its efforts to refit this formerly-useless property into a viable economic asset for the Port of Bridgeport.
The Port of Bridgeport is home to the Derecktor Shipyards that produces world-class custom sailing and motor yachts, innovative working boats, and high-speed ferries. A US leader in the production of aluminum boats, the Port of Bridgeport's Derecktor Shipyards is also a world leader in constructing, servicing, repairing, and refitting yachts and commercial craft. The shipyards are located on a 9.3-hectare site off the Long Island Sound. The Derecktor Connecticut facility is dedicated to constructing and building new large vessels over 91 meters long and weighing as much as 600 metric tons.
The Port of Bridgeport is working to provide high-speed ferry service between Bridgeport, Stamford, and New York to provide commuters with an alternative to rail and highway travel.
Founded in 1883, the Bridgeport-Port Jefferson Steamboat Company has a long history of moving passengers between the Port of Bridgeport and Port Jefferson, New York. The Port Jeff ferry operates 365 days per year and is a welcome option for avoiding commuter traffic. Circus icon and former Mayor P.T. Barnum was one of the company's founders.