A £1.5 million Scottish Government grant will safeguard 31 jobs at Montrose Port.
More freight will also be taken off Scotland’s roads and transported by sea thanks to the Ports Mode Shift Grant.
The money will be added to a £5.9m investment by Montrose Port Authority to introduce a series of improvements which will allow larger cargo vessels to dock at the port.
Over a five-year period, it is expected the move will deliver environmental benefits worth £5.2m through the removal of 1.26m tonnes of freight from the roads and 86,000 HGV lorry journeys in the process.
Minister for Transport and the Islands Humza Yousaf said: “As part of Programme for Government, we have committed to encouraging the transfer of freight from road to more environmentally friendly modes of transport.
“This is a great example of us delivering on that promise and helping Montrose Port Authority deliver millions of pounds of environmental benefits.
“The grant will also safeguard 31 jobs and help the Port of Montrose remain relevant and competitive in the current marketplace, which is seeing an increase in the size of cargo vessels.”
The harbour is becoming busier than ever as it celebrates the 525th anniversary of receiving its charter in 1493.
It handles around 550 vessels each year, totalling some 2.3 million gross tonnes and carrying around half a million tonnes of cargo, with some 75% of the business oil and gas related.
Another important cargo is the 60,000 to 100,000 tonnes of waste material sent from Scotland to Sweden.
Nik Scott-Gray, chief executive at Montrose Port Authority, said: “We are justifiably proud of our excellent track record across a range of sectors, which, in turn, has led to this significant investment from the Scottish Government.
“Our aim is to create an activity hub, streamlining the support we offer for project work, from chain and anchor inspections to decommissioning activities and offshore wind projects.
“We have proven our capabilities in the past, and this latest investment is testament to the suitability of Montrose Port and the confidence in the knowledge, skill and value within Scotland’s North East.”
The changes to the quaysides are expected to be completed in summer 2019.