Port authority
In Canada and the United States a port authority (less commonly a port district) is a governmental or quasi-governmental public authority for a special-purpose district
Special-purpose district
Special-purpose districts or special district governments in the United States are independent governmental units that exist separately from, and with substantial administrative and fiscal independence from, general purpose local governments such as county, municipal, and township governments. As...

 usually formed by a legislative body (or bodies) to operate ports and other transportation infrastructure.

Port authorities are usually governed by boards or commissions,
which are commonly appointed by governmental chief executives, often from different jurisdictions. For example, in Canada the federal Minister of Transport
Minister of Transport (Canada)
The Minister of Transport is the Minister of the Crown in the Canadian Cabinet who is responsible for overseeing the federal government's transportation regulatory and development department, Transport Canada...

 selects one board member, the local chief executive one, and the rest of the board are at the recommendation of port users to the federal Minister. In Canada all port authorities have a federal or Crown charter called Letters Patent
Letters patent
Letters patent are a type of legal instrument in the form of a published written order issued by a monarch or president, generally granting an office, right, monopoly, title, or status to a person or corporation...


Most port authorities are financially self-supporting. In addition to owning land, setting fees, and sometimes levying taxes, port districts can also operate shipping terminals, airports, railroads, and irrigation
Irrigation may be defined as the science of artificial application of water to the land or soil. It is used to assist in the growing of agricultural crops, maintenance of landscapes, and revegetation of disturbed soils in dry areas and during periods of inadequate rainfall...


In Mexico
The United Mexican States , commonly known as Mexico , is a federal constitutional republic in North America. It is bordered on the north by the United States; on the south and west by the Pacific Ocean; on the southeast by Guatemala, Belize, and the Caribbean Sea; and on the east by the Gulf of...

 the federal government created sixteen port administrations in 1994–1995 called Administración Portuaria Integral (API) in Spanish, as result of the Ley de Puertos of 1993.
These are organized as variable capital corporations (Sociedad Anónima de Capital Variable or S.A. de C.V.), with the
intent of creating more private investment in a state owned sector.

Numerous Caribbean nations also have port authorities, including those of Aruba, British Virgin Islands, Bahamas, Jamaica, Cayman Islands, Trinidad and Tobago, St. Lucia, St. Maarten, St. Vincent and the Grenadines.

Central and South America also have port agencies such as autoridad and consorcio (authority and consortium).

Port authorities and districts

The distinction between inland and being marine is occasionally open to discussion. No distinction is made here between river and Great Lakes ports.

Port authorities

With date of Letters Patent.

  • Belledune, 29 March 2000
  • Halifax
    Halifax Port Authority
    The Halifax Port Authority is a port authority operating as a not-for-profit Crown corporation of the Government of Canada. HPA has responsibility for all federally-owned waterfront properties on Halifax Harbour in Nova Scotia's Halifax Regional Municipality.The HPA was created on March 1, 1999...

    , 1 March 1999
  • Saint John
    Port of Saint John
    The Port of Saint John is a port complex that occupies of land along of waterfront. The port is located at the mouth of the Saint John River in Saint John, New Brunswick, with facilities on both sides of the river. The Port of Saint John is noted for its extreme tidal range and river currents...

    , 1 May 1999
  • Sept-Îles, 1 May 1999
  • St. John's, NL, 1 May 1999

Great Lakes
  • Hamilton, Pending
  • Oshawa
    Oshawa is a city in Ontario, Canada, on the Lake Ontario shoreline. It lies in Southern Ontario approximately 60 kilometres east of downtown Toronto. It is commonly viewed as the eastern anchor of both the Greater Toronto Area and the Golden Horseshoe. It is now commonly referred to as the most...

    , Pending
  • Thunder Bay
    Thunder Bay
    -In Canada:Thunder Bay is the name of three places in the province of Ontario, Canada along Lake Superior:*Thunder Bay District, Ontario, a district in Northwestern Ontario*Thunder Bay, a city in Thunder Bay District*Thunder Bay, Unorganized, Ontario...

    , 1 July 1999
  • Toronto
    Toronto Port Authority
    The Toronto Port Authority is a Canadian port authority responsible for management of the harbour of Toronto, Ontario, Canada, including the Billy Bishop Toronto City Airport...

    , 8 June 1999
  • Windsor, 1 July 1999

  • Fraser River http://www.fraserportauthority.com/, 1 May 1999
  • Nanaimo, 1 July 1999
  • North Fraser, 1 July 1999
  • Port Alberni, 1 July 1999
  • Port Metro Vancouver
    Port Metro Vancouver
    Port Metro Vancouver is a non-shareholder, financially self-sufficient corporation, established by the Government of Canada in January 2008, pursuant to the Canada Marine Act, and accountable to the federal Minister of Transport. It is the principal authority for shipping and port-related land and...

    , 1 January 2008
  • Prince Rupert
    Prince Rupert Port Authority
    The Prince Rupert Port Authority is a port authority operating under the Canada Marine Act as an autonomous and commercially viable agency...

    , 1 May 1999
  • Vancouver
    Port of Vancouver
    The Port of Vancouver was the name of the largest port in Canada, the largest in the Pacific Northwest, and the largest port on the West Coast of North America by metric tons of total cargo, with 76.5 million metric tons...

    , 1 March 1999

St. Lawrence Seaway
  • Montréal
    Port of Montréal
    The Port of Montreal, is a port located in Montreal, Quebec, Canada, on the St Lawrence river. It one of the largest inland ports in the world, it is the second busiest port in Canada , and it is one of the busiest ports in North America....

    , 1 March 1999
  • Québec, 1 May 1999
  • Saguenay, 1 May 1999
  • Trois Rivières, 1 May 1999

Other agencies

United States

Charter date in parenthesis.

  • Bridgeport Port Authority, CT (1992)
  • Canaveral Port Authority, FL (1939)
  • City of Richmond Port Commission
    Port of Richmond
    Also known as the Richmond Deepwater Terminal, the Port of Richmond is located on the James River in Richmond, Virginia, 100 miles from Cape Henry and approximately 78 miles north of Newport News, Virginia. It is located at 77° 25' west latitude and 37° 27' north longitude and lies adjacent to...

    , VA (1982)
  • Chesapeake Port Authority, MD and VA (1987)
  • Dade County Seaport Department, Miami, FL (1960)
  • Delaware River Port Authority
    Delaware River Port Authority
    The Delaware River Port Authority is a bi-state instrumentality created by a Congressionally approved interstate compact between the governments of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania and the State of New Jersey...

    , NJ and PA (1951)
  • Diamond State Port Corporation/Port of Wilmington, DE (1994)
  • Eastport Port Authority, ME (1977)
  • Port Everglades, FL (1927)
  • Georgia Ports Authority
    Georgia Ports Authority
    The Georgia Ports Authority is the administrative agency of the U.S. state of Georgia that oversees the development, maintenance and operation of two deepwater seaports and two inland ports in the state. The GPA was established in 1945 by State Ports Authority Act #422 and is currently...

  • Jacksonville Port Authority (1963)
  • Port of Miami
  • Maine Port Authority
  • Maryland Port Administration (1971)
  • Massachusetts Port Authority
    Massachusetts Port Authority
    Massachusetts Port Authority, or Massport, is a port district in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. It operates seaports and airports in eastern and central Massachusetts, mainly the Port of Boston. Its headquarters is located in the Logan Office Center, adjacent to Logan Airport in East Boston,...

  • New Hampshire State Port Authority (1957)
  • Port Authority of New York and New Jersey
    Port Authority of New York and New Jersey
    The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey is a bi-state port district, established in 1921 through an interstate compact, that runs most of the regional transportation infrastructure, including the bridges, tunnels, airports, and seaports, within the Port of New York and New Jersey...

  • North Carolina State Ports Authority (1945)
  • Port of Palm Beach District
    Port of Palm Beach
    The Port of Palm Beach is located in Riviera Beach, Florida, in Palm Beach County. The Port is an independent taxing district, with a five-member board of commissioners elected at large by voters within the district. The Port district covers a land area of or approximately fifty percent of the...

  • Philadelphia Regional Port Authority
    Port of Philadelphia
    The Port of Philadelphia, within the municipal boundaries of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania is located near the navigable end of the Delaware River, south of New York City and north of Washington, D.C...

    , PA (1989)
  • Port of Ponce, PR (1911)
  • Puerto Rico Ports Authority (1942)
  • Putnam County Port Authority
    Putnam County Port Authority
    Putnam County Port Authority is a public corporation established to develop and manage port facilities in Putnam County, Florida. Created in 1967 by Florida Law 67-1967, the port district is one of 16 in the Sunshine State. The Port Authority also owns and maintains industrial and commercial...

    , FL (1967)
  • South Carolina State Ports Authority (1942)
  • South Jersey Port Corporation, NJ (1968)
  • Virgin Islands Port Authority, VI (1969)
  • Virginia Port Authority, VA (1970)
  • Westover Metropolitan Development Corporation (1974)

Gulf of Mexico
  • Alabama State Port Authority
    Port of Mobile
    The Port of Mobile, located in Mobile, Alabama, United States, is the only deep-water port in the state, and was the 9th largest by tonnage in the nation in 2008. It is located along the Mobile River where it empties into Mobile Bay...

    , (2000)
  • Port of Beaumont Navigation District of Jefferson County, TX
    Port of Beaumont
    The Port of Beaumont is a deep-water port located in Beaumont, Texas near the mouth of the Neches River.It is the fourth busiest port in the United States according to the American Association of Port Authorities and the thirty-fourth largest in the world in terms of tonnage. It is also the...

  • Greater Baton Rouge Port Commission, LA (1952)
  • Brazos River Harbor Navigation District, Freeport,TX (1927)
  • Brownsville Navigation District (1925)
  • Calhoun County Navigation District, Port Lavaca/Point Comfort, TX (1953)
  • Port of Corpus Christi Authority (1926)
  • Port of Galveston
    Port of Galveston
    The Port of Galveston is the port of the city of Galveston, Texas. It was established by a proclamation issued by the Congress of Mexico on October 17, 1825, while the land known today as Texas was still part of Mexico...

  • Port of Houston
    Port of Houston
    The Port of Houston is a port in Houston—the fourth-largest city in the United States. The Port is a 25-mile-long complex of diversified public and private facilities located a few hours' sailing time from the Gulf of Mexico...

     Authority (1910)
  • Jackson County Port Authority, Pascagoula, MS (1956)
  • Lake Charles Port Harbor & Terminal District, LA (1924)
  • Manatee County Port Authority, FL (1967)
  • Mississippi State Port Authority/Gulfport (1960)
  • Orange County Navigation Port District, TX | http://www.portoforange.com/index.php (1953)
  • Board of Commissioners of the New Orleans
    Port of New Orleans
    The Port of New Orleans is a port located in New Orleans, Louisiana. It is the 1st in the United States based on volume of cargo handled, second-largest in the state after the Port of South Louisiana, and 13th largest in the U.S. based on value of cargo...

    , LA (1896)
  • Port of Pensacola, FL (1976)
  • Harbor & Terminal District Plaquemines Port
    Plaquemines Port
    The Port of Plaquemines is one of the largest seaports in the United States. It is located at the mouth of the Mississippi River on the Gulf of Mexico, near Belle Chasse in Plaquemines Parish, Louisiana, about twenty miles south of New Orleans....

    , LA (1977)
  • Panama City Port Authority, FL (1979)
  • Port of Port Arthur Navigation District, TX (1963)
  • Port Isabel-San Benito Navigation District, TX (1928)
  • South Louisiana Port Commission
    Port of South Louisiana
    The Port of South Louisiana is the largest volume shipping port in the Western Hemisphere and 9th largest in the world. It is the largest bulk cargo port in the world....

    , (1968)
  • Harbor & Terminal District St. Bernard Port Harbor, LA (1981)
  • Tampa Port Authority
    Port of Tampa
    The Port of Tampa is located on the western coast or Suncoast of Florida, approximately 25 miles from open waters of the Gulf of Mexico. The boundaries of the Port district includes parts of Tampa Bay, Hillsborough Bay, McKay Bay, Old Tampa Bay and the Hillsborough River.The port of Tampa is the...

    , FL (1945)

Great Lakes / St. Lawrence Seaway
  • Albany Port District Commission (1925)
  • Brown County Board of Harbor Commissioners, Green Bay, WI (1965)
  • Port of Cleveland
    Port of Cleveland
    The Port of Cleveland is a bulk freight shipping port at the mouth of the Cuyahoga River on Lake Erie and adjacent to the United States of America city of Cleveland, in Cuyahoga County, Ohio....

    , Cleveland, Ohio
  • Detroit/Wayne County Port Authority (1978)
  • Duluth Seaway Port Authority, MN (1929)
  • Erie-Western Pennsylvania Port Authority (1962)
  • Illinois International Port District, Chicago (1955)
  • Indiana Port Commission
    Indiana Harbor and Ship Canal
    The Indiana Harbor and Ship Canal is an artificial waterway on the southwest shore of Lake Michigan, in East Chicago, Indiana which connects the Grand Calumet River to Lake Michigan. It consists of two branch canals, the 1.25 mile Lake George Branch and the 2 mile long Grand Calumet River Branch...

  • Lorain Port Authority, OH (1964)
  • Port of Milwaukee
  • Niagara Frontier Transportation Authority, Buffalo (1967)
  • Ogdensburg Bridge and Port Authority, NY
  • Port of Pittsburgh Commission
    Port of Pittsburgh Commission
    The Port of Pittsburgh Commission is a government agency of the Commonweath of Pennsylvania that manages the port of Pittsburgh, which is the second-largest inland port in the United States.-M-70:...

    , Pittsburgh, PA (1992)
  • Port of Oswego Authority, NY (1955)
  • Port of Stockton
    Port of Stockton
    The Port of Stockton is a major inland deepwater port in Stockton, California located on the San Joaquin River before it joins the Sacramento River to empty into Suisun Bay, eighty miles inland. The port sits on about , and occupies an island in the San Joaquin Delta, and a portion of a...

  • Toledo-Lucas County Port Authority
    Toledo-Lucas County Port Authority
    The Toledo-Lucas County Port Authority is a port authority financing and/or operating air, rail, trucking, and port facilities, as well as supporting and funding economic development activities in Lucas County, located in northwest Ohio and bordering on southeast Michigan.-Mission:The Port...

  • Waukegan Port District (1955)

  • Port of Anacortes http://www.portofanacortes.com/, WA (1926)
  • Anchorage Port Commission
    Port of Anchorage
    The Port of Anchorage is a critical link between the U.S. state and Alaska, providing an estimated 90% of the merchandise cargo to 80% of Alaska's populated areas. The Port of Anchorage also provides essential fuel supplies to the Anchorge and southcentral area and serves as the entry point for...

    , AK (1946)
  • Port of Astoria, OR (1910)
  • Port of Bellingham
    Port of Bellingham
    The Port of Bellingham is a government agency in Bellingham, Whatcom County, Washington, United States which operates two large marinas, port facilities and the Bellingham International Airport.-External links:*...

  • Port of Coos Bay
    Port of Coos Bay
    The Oregon International Port of Coos Bay is a port of the Pacific coast of the United States, located in Coos Bay near the city of Coos Bay, Oregon...

  • Port of Everett http://www.portofeverett.com/, WA (1917)
  • Port of Grays Harbor http://www.portofgraysharbor.com/ (1911)
  • Port Authority of Guam (1975)
  • Humboldt Bay Harbor Recreation & Conservation District
    Humboldt Bay Harbor Recreation & Conservation District
    The Humboldt Bay Harbor Recreation & Conservation District, created in 1972 by local voters, manages the Port of Humboldt Bay, and the Port of Eureka, the primary city of the region, and much larger facilities on the shore of the adjacent peninsula, known as Samoa...

    , CA (1970)
  • Long Beach City Harbor Department
    Port of Long Beach
    The Port of Long Beach, also known as Long Beach’s Harbor Department, is the 2nd busiest container port in the USA. It adjoins the separate Port of Los Angeles. Acting as a major gateway for U.S.-Asian trade, the port occupies of land with of waterfront in the city of Long Beach, California...

    , CA (1909)
  • Port of Longview, Washington (1921)
  • Los Angeles City Harbor Department
    Port of Los Angeles
    The Port of Los Angeles, also called Los Angeles Harbor and WORLDPORT L.A, is a port complex that occupies of land and water along of waterfront. The port is located on San Pedro Bay in the San Pedro neighborhood of Los Angeles, approximately south of downtown...

    , CA (1907)
  • Port of Newport, OR (1964)
  • Port of Oakland
    Port of Oakland
    The Port of Oakland was the first major port on the Pacific Coast of the United States to build terminals for container ships. It is now the fifth busiest container port in the United States, behind Long Beach, Los Angeles, Newark, and Savannah...

    , CA (1926)
  • Port of Olympia (1922)
  • Oxnard Harbor District, Hueneme, CA (1937)
  • Port of Kalama, WA (1921)
  • Port of Longview, WA (1922)
  • Port of Port Angeles, WA (1923)
  • Port of Portland
    Port of Portland (Oregon)
    The Port of Portland is the port district responsible for overseeing Portland International Airport, general aviation, and marine activities in the Portland, Oregon metropolitan area in the United States....

    , OR (1891)
  • Port of Redwood City (1937)
  • Port of Richmond, CA (1982)
  • Commonwealth Ports Authority of Saipan, MP (1981)
  • Port of Sacramento
    Port of Sacramento
    The Port of Sacramento is an inland port located northeast of San Francisco, and is centered in one of the richest agricultural regions in the world. Cargo ships access the Port of Sacramento through San Francisco Bay and passage up the Sacramento River and the Sacramento deep water channel...

    , CA (1947)
  • Port of San Diego
    Port of San Diego
    The Port of San Diego is a self-supporting public benefit corporation established in 1962 by an act of the California State Legislature. In 2007, The U.S. Bureau of Transportation Statistics ranked the Port of San Diego as one of America's top 30 U.S. containership ports bringing in nearly of...

  • San Francisco Port Commission
    Port of San Francisco
    The Port of San Francisco lies on the western edge of the San Francisco Bay near the Golden Gate. It has been called one of the three great natural harbors in the world, but it took two long centuries for navigators from Spain and England to find the anchorage originally called Yerba Buena...

  • Port of Seattle
    Port of Seattle
    The Port of Seattle is a port district that runs Seattle's seaport and airport. Its creation was approved by the voters of King County, Washington, on September 5, 1911, authorized by the Port District Act. It is run by a five-member commission. The commissioners' terms run four years...

  • Port of Skamania County, WA (1960s)
  • Port of Tacoma (1918)
  • Port of Vancouver, WA (1912)


Listed from northwest to southeast. API is Administración Portuaria Integral.


Gulf of Mexico

Central America

Asia Pacific

  • Sri Lanka Ports Authority
    Sri Lanka Ports Authority
    Sri Lanka Ports Authority is a government agency responsible for the development and maintenance of all commercial ports in Sri Lanka. It is also responsible for the maintenance and operations of lighthouses in Sri Lanka...

  • Port of Shanghai
    Port of Shanghai
    The Port of Shanghai, located in the vicinity of Shanghai, comprises a deep-sea port and a river port.In 2010, Shanghai port overtook Singapore port to become the world's busiest container port...

  • Port of Singapore
    Port of Singapore
    The Port of Singapore refers to the collective facilities and terminals that conduct maritime trade handling functions in Singapore's harbours and which handle Singapore's shipping...

  • Port of Kaohsiung
    Port of Kaohsiung
    The Port of Kaohsiung is the largest harbor in Taiwan, handling approximately 10 million twenty-foot equivalent units worth of cargo in 2007. The port is located in southern Taiwan, adjacent to Kaohsiung City, surrounded by the city districts of Gushan, Yancheng, Lingya, Cianjhen, Siaogang, and...

  • Port of Niihama
  • Port of Kitakyūshū
  • Port Qasim Authority
  • Gwadar Port Authority

United Kingdom

In the United Kingdom operators of ports and harbours become de facto Port Authorities under several pieces of legislation. Examples include the:-
  • Mersey Docks and Harbour Company
    Mersey Docks and Harbour Company
    The Mersey Docks and Harbour Company , formerly the Mersey Docks and Harbour Board , owns and administers the dock facilities of the Port of Liverpool, on the River Mersey, England...

  • Port of London Authority
    Port of London Authority
    The Port of London Authority is a self-funding public trust established in 1908 by the Port of London Act to govern the Port of London. Its responsibility extends over the Tideway of the River Thames and the authority is responsible for the public right of navigation and for conservancy of the...

External links

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