Established in 2003, the New Haven Port Authority is responsible for improving the competitiveness of the Port of New Haven and waterborne transportation to the economic benefit of New Haven and the State of Connecticut. The Port of New Haven is the biggest deep-water port in Connecticut, handling some 18 million tons of cargo per year, including almost all of the State's manufactured goods. Given the limited land area in the Port of New Haven, the port authority is an important leader in community policy and land use, transportation, safety, security, and environmental planning and development.
In 2006, the Port of New Haven's port authority developed a work plan that focused on four strategic objectives: expanding available land for the port, improving port access, enhancing port operations and services, and providing leadership on community issues related to the environment, land use, and community relations.
The Port of New Haven serves vessels, barges, trucks, and rail transportation. It contains three berthing facilities, two of them alongside depth of 11 meters and one with alongside depth of 11.9 meters. Major cargoes in the Port of New Haven include steel, aluminum, copper, tin, zinc, lumber, paper and wood pulp, crane parts, automobiles, containers, and heavy lift cargoes.
The Port of New Haven has capacity to load as many as 200 trucks per day. The Port of New Haven is served by the Providence & Worcester Railroad that connects with CONRAIL and other regional rail lines. The Port of New Haven has about 37.2 thousand square meters of inside storage and some 20 hectares of outside storage.
In late 2009, the Port of New Haven was awarded about $1.1 million in federal stimulus funds for equipment to improve port security, and the port was pursuing a large grant for improving port infrastructure. The grant would fund five important Port of New Haven projects to enhance rail and water connections, increase biodiesel fuels distribution, and add terminal storage space for maritime businesses. Unfortunately, the global economic recession has created difficulties for the Port of New Haven, and many of the planned improvements have been delayed indefinitely.