About Maritime Month
May is Maritime Month at the Port of San Diego! Maritime Month is our region’s unique celebration of National Maritime Day, May 22.
During this time, we honor the maritime sectors at the heart of it all: cargo, cruise, shipbuilding and repair, and commercial and sport fishing.
Port of San Diego Maritime Fast Facts
|4th largest port in California
|2 cargo terminals
|2 cruise terminals
|Approximately 2.5 million metric tons of cargo each year
|14,000 shipbuilding and repair workers
|Approximately 5 million lbs of fish each year
The Four Sectors of Maritime
Cargo featuring Dole Fresh Fruit Company
The cargo and trade sector is vital to maritime economy. The Port of San Diego handles specialty cargo that does not fit in standardized containers. From dry and liquid bulk cargo to refrigerated and breakbulk – this is the Port’s Special Advantage.
Dole receives approximately 50,000 containers of bananas, pineapples, and more fruits and vegetables a year at the Port.
Fun fact: Dole has recently expanded their ongoing electrification efforts at the Port. Pictured here is Dole mascot, Bobby Banana jumping for joy with a couple of Dole’s electric Utility Tractor Rigs (UTRs).
Cruise featuring Holland America.
The cruise operations sector is vital to maritime economy. Throughout the years, countless cruise lines have dropped anchor and set sail at the Port of San Diego. Pictured here is the beautiful Koningsdam ship from Holland America.
Holland America has called the Port of San Diego a home Port since the 1990s and in 2022 had around 30 cruises embark from the Port.
Fun fact: Each Holland America visit directly contributes $364,000 to the local economy in provisioning (fuel, food, flowers, piano tuning, supplies), port taxes, and spending.
Shipbuilding and RepairShipbuilding and Repair
Shipbuilding and repair featuring BAE Systems San Diego Ship Repair.
The shipbuilding and repair sector is vital to maritime operations. With 14,000 workers, the Port of San Diego proudly has the largest and most capable shipbuilding and repair industry on the west coast.
A major shipbuilding and repair business that calls the Port of San Diego home is BAE Systems. BAE Systems is a leading provider of maintenance, repair, overhaul, and conversion services to the U.S. Navy’s non-nuclear surface ship fleet.
Fun fact: BAE Systems has been working to bring dynamic technology to help keep the waters clean and free of debris.
Commercial and SportfishingCommercial and Sportfishing
Commercial and sportfishing featuring commercial fisherman and President of the San Diego Fisherman’s Working Group, Pete Halmay.
Commercial and sportfishing is vital to maritime economy. Each year, local fishermen unload about five million pounds of fish at San Diego’s four regional commercial docks. Pete emphasizes, “Here in San Diego, you can eat a different kind of fish every day for 90 days and not eat the same fish twice.”
Fun fact: Fishing is part of the fabric of our history – it helped make San Diego what it is today. At one time, San Diego was known as “The Tuna Capital of the World”.
In the spirit of Maritime Month, it is important that we recognize our commitment to the environmental care of San Diego Bay and the surrounding waterfront communities. Here are just a few of the many initiatives the Port is pursuing to improve air quality and reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
Shore Power ExpansionShore Power Expansion
As environmental champions, the Port first installed shore power at the cruise terminals in 2010, making it among the first ports in California to have shore power available for cruise ships.
Recently, the Port has doubled the shore power capability at our B Street and Broadway Pier cruise ship terminals. This means two cruise vessels can plug in at the same time.
This will help to further improve air quality and further reduce greenhouse gas emissions because the ships will not have to run their diesel auxiliary engines while in port.
All-Electric Mobile Harbor CranesAll-Electric Mobile Harbor Cranes
In support of clean air for all, the Port is installing two all-electric, battery-supported mobile harbor cranes in 2023 to replace the diesel-powered crane currently in use at the Tenth Avenue Marine Terminal (TAMT).
In addition to the environmental and public health benefits, the new crane system will enable the Port to attract additional business opportunities due to the increased maximum lift capacity – up to 400 metric tons (MT) versus the 100 MT lifting capacity of the Port’s diesel crane.
All-Electric TugboatAll-Electric Tugboat
Crowley, with support from the Port, is bringing the first all-electric tugboat (eTug) in the U.S. to the Port.
The 82-foot vessel with 70 tons of bollard pull advances Crowley and the maritime industry’s efforts toward sustainability and decarbonization. The electric tug will replace one that consumes more than 30,000 gallons of diesel per year.
To support the eTug, the Port is building a shoreside charging station.
Microgrid Infrastructure ProjectMicrogrid Infrastructure Project
The Port believes in the safekeeping and environmental care of our dynamic waterfront and surrounding communities.
The microgrid at the Tenth Avenue Marine Terminal and continued electrical modernization of the terminal supports adoption of zero emissions electric cargo handling equipment, improving air quality and reducing greenhouse gas emissions (GHG) on the terminal and within adjacent disadvantaged communities. This project supports and aligns with the Port’s Climate Action Plan and the Maritime Clean Air Strategy.
Port FleetPort Fleet
The addition of EVs to the Port’s fleet supports:
- The Port’s Climate Action Plan goal of reducing greenhouse gas emissions;
- The Port’s Maritime Clean Air Strategy (MCAS) goal of “Health Equity for All”;
- The State of California’s goal for 100% adoption of zero emissions vehicles by 2035; and
- The Port’s participation in San Diego Gas and Electric’s (SDG&E’s) Power Your Drive for Fleets Make-Ready Infrastructure Program, which will be investing at least $500,000 toward charging infrastructure to power the vehicles. The SDGE Power Your Drive for Fleets program targets projects in disadvantaged communities to help improve air quality by eliminating tailpipe emissions through the adoption of electric vehicle fleets.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is National Maritime Day?
National Maritime Day is May 22. In 1933, a Joint Congressional Resolution established May 22 as National Maritime Day to recognize the men and women of the U.S Merchant Marine and the many other maritime industry workers who have transported cargo and defended the United States since 1775.
What is Maritime Month?
At the Port of San Diego, Maritime Month is honored in May. It is our region’s unique celebration of four maritime sectors that are vital to the success of San Diego: cargo, cruise, shipbuilding and repair, and commercial and sport fishing.
How many terminals does the Port of San Diego have?
The Port of San Diego offers two marine transport terminals, the Tenth Avenue Marine Terminal and the National City Marine Terminal, and two cruise ship terminals, the B Street Cruise Terminal and Broadway Pier.