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Updated: June 15, 2023

Shipping out: After 14 years, consultancy closes chapter on Portland port

Cargo containers at Portland port. Photo / Courtesy Soli DG The Maine Port Authority will take over management of the International Marine Terminal in Portland, shown here, from Soli DG, a South Portland-based consultancy that has run operations for the past 14 years.
Portland port pavement - empty lot. Courtesy / Soli DG Sign of former times: What the International Marine Terminal looked like in 2009.

After running the International Marine Terminal in Portland for 14 years, the local consultancy that transformed the facility from a former passenger ferry terminal into a bustling cargo hub is stepping aside. From now on, the Maine Port Authority will manage the facility.

Soli DG, a South Portland-based consultancy led by husband and wife Patrick and Janeen Arnold, was contracted by the MPA in 2008 to work on developing Maine’s ports.

A year later, the MPA signed a contract with the city of Portland to secure control of what had once been a passenger ferry terminal. Soli DG was then enlisted to lead efforts to manage and revitalize the facility into a container freight terminal.

Patrick Arnold and Chris Cary on Portland's waterfront.
File photo / Tim Greenway
Patrick Arnold

“I remember grass growing through the cracks and on the pavement. It was an old parking lot,” Arnold told Mainebiz.

Soli DG is parting ways with the MPA on the best of terms.

“Patrick has been a key player in helping to develop the International Marine Terminal and forge Maine’s strong partnership with Eimskip,” the Icelandic logistics company, said Maine Department of Transportation Commissioner Bruce Van Note. "The increased economic activity on the Portland waterfront today is thanks, in part, to the good work that Patrick and his team have done over the past 14 years.”

Arnold said, “We were grateful for the opportunity in 2009. Janeen and I had founded our company in 2007 to bring opportunity to Maine and to be able to raise our family here where I grew up. Building up a container terminal seemed to be a good and missing catalyst for the Maine economy.”  

DG Soli plans to continue its work in the blue economy at the New England Ocean Cluster, based at the waterfront, “and we are excited to see what new opportunities lie ahead.”

Asked whether he was sorry to close the chapter at the IMT before the long-awaited cold-storage facility is completed, Arnold said, "Not really. Projects like that take a lot of time and a lot of patience. We gave it both.”

The $35 million construction project, which broke ground in August, is due to be completed in February 2024.

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