The name "New Mangalore Port" distinguishes it from an old harbour or port in Mangalore city which is called "Mangalore bunder" or "Old bunder". The old harbour is south of New Mangalore port and is now used for fishing and for ferrying small goods.
The port is in Panambur, Mangalore on the west coast of India. It is to north of confluence of Gurupura (Phalguni) river to Arabian sea. It is 170 nautical miles (310 km) south of Mormugao Port and 191 nautical miles (354 km) north of Kochi Port.
It was formally inaugurated on May 4, 1974 by the then prime minister Indira Gandhi. Construction began in 1962.
The national highway NH-66 (earlier NH-17) passes the port. The nearest railway station is Thokur, but passengers have to alight at Suratkal Railway station which is on Konkan railway route, approximately 6 kilometres from the New Mangalore port.
The port serves hinterland of Karnataka state and to some extent state of Kerala. The major commodities exported through the port are iron ore concentrates and pellets, iron ore fines, manganese, granite stones, coffee, cashew and containerized cargo.
The major imports of the port are crude and petroleum products, LPG, wood pulp, timber logs, finished fertilizers, liquid ammonia, phosphoric acid, other liquid chemicals, and containerized cargo.
NMPT has received Greentech Environment Award 2014.