Municipal ferries on the Portland waterfront
Farmer's market in Monument Square
Portland has become Maine's economic capital because the city has Maine's largest port, largest population, and is close to Boston (105 miles to the south). Over the years, the local economy has shifted from fishing, manufacturing, and agriculture towards a more service-based economy. Most national financial services organizations such as Bank of America and Key Bank base their Maine operations in Portland. Unum, TruChoice Federal Credit Union,
People's United Bank,
ImmuCell Corp, and Pioneer Telephone have headquarters here, and Portland's neighboring cities of South Portland, Westbrook and Scarborough, provide homes for other corporations including IDEXX and WEX Inc. Since 1867, Burnham & Morrill Co., maker of B&M Baked Beans, has had its main plant in Portland and is considered a landmark.
The city's port is also undergoing a revival and the first-ever container train departed from the new International Marine Terminal with 15 containers of locally produced bottled water in early 2016.
Americold, a US-based international provider of temperature-controlled storage and distribution, won a bid to develop a state-of-the-art temperature-controlled storage facility adjacent to the port. The facility will support perishable produce, meats, and seafood imports with direct exports but construction has not yet begun.
Portland has a low unemployment rate (3% in June 2017) when compared to national and state averages. The city and its adjacent communities also have higher median incomes than most of the state.