Since mid-March, nearly 50 potential contractors have looked at the Steamship Authority’s request for proposals to start a freight service to the Vineyard from New Bedford or another port not located on Cape Cod, according to an announcement from the SSA Friday afternoon, but when the deadline for responses came on August 2, not one of the 47 companies had indicated any interest in pursuing the contract, SSA communications director Sean Driscoll wrote.

Issued March 18, the request for proposals included the option for companies “to contact the SSA if they believe there are any provisions in the RFP that are too restrictive for a successful freight service for the island of Martha’s Vineyard so that the SSA can review those provisions and, if possible and appropriate, address any concerns,” Mr. Driscoll wrote.

That offer netted no responses from the potential contractors, he continued.

In Friday’s announcement, boat line general manager Robert Davis expressed disappointment in the lack of interest.

“I firmly believe we issued an RFP that was clear, fair, and flexible,” Mr. Davis wrote.

“I continue to believe that this new freight service can become a long-term part of the marine transportation network that helps us fulfill our statutory duty of providing adequate transportation of persons and the necessaries of life for the islands of Martha’s Vineyard and Nantucket,” Mr. Davis’s statement continued.

The request for proposals was issued at the SSA board of governors’ direction following Falmouth residents’ complaints about freight traffic headed to and from the Woods Hole terminal for the 5:30 a.m. summer departure, a perennial source of disagreement between the town and the boat line.

Steamship Authority and Martha’s Vineyard officials, as well as Island-based and Island-serving truckers, maintain that the early summer freight boat is urgently needed to bring the Vineyard essential supplies, while Falmouth residents say the trucks rob them of sleep and disturb their mornings.

The SSA has limited the size of commercial trucks on the 5:30 run and issued instructions to trucking companies that prohibit loud braking and early arrivals.

A Massachusetts Department of Transportation report earlier this year found that while an off-Cape freight port serving the Vineyard could feasibly be developed, it would be costly to establish.

Other leading drawbacks include the far longer travel time and its attendant environmental toll, according to the report, which found that even if half the Vineyard’s freight traffic went through New Bedford instead of Woods Hole, emissions of nitrogen dioxide and carbon dioxide would increase while Falmouth traffic would remain largely the same.

Earlier studies by the SSA in 2000, 2012 and 2016 also concluded that New Bedford-Martha’s Vineyard freight service would be cost-prohibitive, largely due to the travel time, which includes a 30-minute detour to skirt the dangerous currents of Woods Hole Passage after a nearly two-hour trip from the Whaling City.

New Bedford also lacks facilities for a ferry shipping service, and its leaders are more interested in redeveloping the formerly industrial waterfront for tourism, according to the latest report, which was prepared for the state by Urban Harbors, Inc.

To circulate its request for proposals over the past four months, the SSA advertised on its website, in regional newspapers and with national maritime publications including Marine Link, Boats & Harbors, Maritime Reporter and Marine Log, according to Friday’s announcement.