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Cargo and Trade

Specialty cargo isn’t typical cargo. Good thing we're not your typical port. We make moving complex cargo easy. Whether it’s breakbulk, refrigerated, liquid or dry bulk, we have the expertise to carefully handle your cargo with ease and efficiency—from ship, to ground, to market—faster. 

a cargo ship unloads a boat at the Port of San Diego

Foreign-Trade Zone

The Port of San Diego offers a secure, designated location where foreign and domestic merchandise is generally considered to be in international commerce and outside of United States customs territory. Approved by U.S. Customs and Border Protection and the City of San Diego, the Tenth Avenue Marine Terminal activates as a Foreign-Trade Zone offering numerous benefits to businesses including duty reduction and deferral, logistical benefits, and cost savings.

Visit our FTZ Page

maritime TAMT laydown area with wind turbines
Special Advantage Wordmark


The Port of San Diego is the nation’s specialty cargo gateway to the Pacific with regular trade routes to Latin America, Asia and beyond. Located in San Diego Bay, the Port has a natural deep-water harbor, easy access to regional freeways, and on-dock Class I rail service, making it ideal for cargo shipping. San Diego is the fourth largest port in California and one of 17 Military Strategic Ports in the United States. 

Find out what our Special Advantage can do for you: | 619.686.6300

Marine Terminals 

The Port has two cargo terminals, the Tenth Avenue Marine Terminal (TAMT), a 96-acre facility in San Diego and the National City Marine Terminal (NCMT), a 135-acre complex in National City. Cargo received at our two cargo terminals originates from countries around the world.  

Tenth Avenue Marine Terminal is the Port’s omni-terminal, where refrigerated containers, break-bulk and bulk cargos are handled. TAMT also features an on-dock cold storage facility, providing approximately 300,000-square feet of temperature-controlled storage and cargo handling. TAMT also has ample open space and flexibility to efficiently handle non-containerized cargo.  

Learn more about TAMT 

Tenth Avenue Marine Terminal pano

National City Marine Terminal is located on the National City waterfront at the south end of San Diego Bay and is the Port’s “roll-on, roll-off” cargo terminal. As the most advanced vehicle import/export facility on the West Coast, it is home to the West Coast’s most efficient auto processor, Pasha Automotive Services. NCMT is located 10 miles from the U.S. – Mexico border, and provides on-dock rail and nearby regional freeways. 

Learn more about NCMT 

cars roll off of a cargo ship at Port of San Diego National City Marine Terminal

Specialty Cargo 

When you need that something special, the Port of San Diego knows how to handle specialty cargo that does not fit in standardized containers.  

large cargo being unloaded at the Port of San Diego Tenth Avenue Marine Terminal

Breakbulk Cargo

Whether it’s windmill blades, generators, propellers or even yachts, we have the expertise to carefully handle specialty cargo with ease and efficiency. With flexible lay down space, covered storage options, and on-dock rail—all minutes from multiple interstates, no box–no problem. 

Learn more about our breakbulk cargo advantage 



rust colored boxite being fed across a conveyor belt into a truck at the Port of San Diego Tenth Avenue marine Terminal

Dry and Liquid Bulk Cargo 

Shipping dry and liquid bulk cargo requires special skills, equipment, and attention to detail. Whether it’s sand, soda ash, sugar, fertilizer, bauxite or cement, we get you on a granular level. With ample storage and efficient cargo handling, we keep your bulk cargo flowing from ship to dock to market much faster. 

Learn more about our dry bulk cargo advantage 

a box full of green avocados at the Port of San Diego Tenth Avenue Marine Terminal

Refrigerated Cargo

Refrigerated cargo requires a special kind of cool. Luckily the Port of San Diego is as cool as a cucumber, offering an on-dock cold storage facility and expertise to handle any temperature-controlled cargo. Whether it’s avocados, bananas, pineapples or other perishable goods, we keep it fresh. 

Learn more about our refrigerated cargo advantage 

Strategic Advantage 

World-class infrastructure and services combined with strategic location enables the Port of San Diego to serve an important role in National Defense. We are proud of our designation as a “Strategic Port,” both for our service to the nation and for our role as a conduit for military cargo moving around the globe. We are one of only 17 commercial seaports in the United States with this designation. 

Learn more about our Strategic Advantage 

Military equipment on the Tenth Avenue Marine Terminal

Port of San Diego
Container Traffic

May 2022

Loaded Inbound 7,522
Loaded Outbound 1,120
Empty Outbound 6,452