Is it possible to do automatic fetching of source files in the background while other parts are being compiled?
Just login on multiple consoles or use multiple x terminals (if running X) and on each one run 'make' for the port you want to compile. The port(s) will be fetched and compiled simultaneously. Then all you need to do is to run 'make install' for each port.

Note: I'm not sure but I think it's not a good practice to issue more than one 'make install' at a time.

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