Port authority

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In Canada and the United States, port authority (less commonly a port district) is a governmental or quasi-governmental public authority for a special-purpose district usually formed by a legislative body (or bodies) to operate ports and other transportation infrastructure.

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 facilities.

Port authorities are usually governed by boards or commissions, which are commonly appointed by governmental chief executives, often from different jurisdictions.[1] In Canada, the federal Minister of Transport selects the local chief executive board member and the rest of the board is appointed at the recommendation of port users to the federal Minister; while all Canadian port authorities have a federal or Crown charter called Letters Patent.

In Mexico, the federal government created sixteen port administrations in 1994–1995 called Administración Portuaria Integral (API) in Spanish, as result of the Lay 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.[2]

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

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.


The Minister of Transport is ultimately responsible for her patronage of Canadian port authorities, a useful map of which is electronically available at Transport Canada.[3]

Port authorities

With date of Letters Patent.


  • Belledune, 29 March 2000
  • Halifax, 1 March 1999
  • Saint John, 1 May 1999
  • Sept-Îles, 1 May 1999
  • St. John's, NL, 1 May 1999

Great Lakes


St. Lawrence Seaway

Other agencies

Former agency

United States

Charter date in parenthesis.


Gulf of Mexico

Great Lakes / St. Lawrence Seaway

  • Albany Port District Commission (1925)
  • Brown County Board of Harbor Commissioners, Green Bay, WI (1965)
  • Port of Cleveland, Cleveland, Ohio
  • Detroit/Wayne County Port Authority (1978)
  • Duluth Seaway Port Authority, MN (1929)
  • Erie-Western Pennsylvania Port Authority (1962)
  • Fairfield County Port Authority, OH (2014)[9]
  • Illinois International Port District, Chicago (1955)
  • Indiana Port Commission (1961)
  • Lorain Port Authority, OH (1964)
  • Port of Milwaukee
  • Niagara Frontier Transportation Authority, Buffalo (1967)
  • Ogdensburg Bridge and Port Authority, NY
  • Port of Pittsburgh Commission, Pittsburgh, PA (1992)
  • Port of Oswego Authority, NY (1955)
  • Port of Stockton (1932)
  • Toledo-Lucas County Port Authority (1955)
  • Waukegan Port District (1955)


Inland Rivers


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


Gulf of Mexico

  • API de Altamira[23]
  • API de Tampico[24]
  • API de Túxpan[25]
  • API de Veracruz[26]
  • API de Coatzacoalcos[27]
  • API de Campeche[28]
  • API de Dos Bocas[29]
  • API de Progreso[30]
  • API de Quintana Roo[31]


Central America

  • Autoridad Marítima de Panamá[32]
  • Comisión Portuaria Nacional, Guatemala[33]
  • Dirección General de Puertos Empresa Nacional Portuaria, Honduras[34]
  • JAPDEVA – Atlantic Port Authority, Costa Rica[35]

Middle East

Asia Pacific

United Kingdom

In the United Kingdom operators of ports and harbours become de facto port authorities under several pieces of legislation. Examples include the:-

See also


  1. ^ "History of the Port Authority movement and ports governance in the U.S. and Canada" (PDF). Retrieved 2012-08-08.
  2. ^ "AAPA members". Aapa-ports.org. Archived from the original on 2012-02-05. Retrieved 2012-08-08.
  3. ^ Transport Canada: "Map Indicating Port Authorities Across Canada"
  4. ^ "Letters Patent issued to the Hamilton Port Authority". Archived from the original on 2013-05-23.
  5. ^ "fraserportauthority.com". fraserportauthority.com. Retrieved 2012-08-08.
  6. ^ "tc.gc.ca". tc.gc.ca. 2011-09-30. Retrieved 2012-08-08.
  7. ^ [1]
  8. ^ "Home". Port of Orange. Retrieved 2012-08-08.
  9. ^ http://www.co.fairfield.oh.us/dev/Fairfield-County-Port-Authority.htm
  10. ^ "portofanacortes.com". portofanacortes.com. Retrieved 2012-08-08.
  11. ^ "portofeverett.com". portofeverett.com. Retrieved 2012-08-08.
  12. ^ "portofgraysharbor.com". portofgraysharbor.com. Retrieved 2012-08-08.
  13. ^ "portofskamania.org". portofskamania.org. Retrieved 2012-08-08.
  14. ^ "puertoensenada.com.mx". puertoensenada.com.mx. Retrieved 2012-08-08.
  15. ^ "puertodeguaymas.com". puertodeguaymas.com. Retrieved 2012-08-08.
  16. ^ "apitopo.com.mx". apitopo.com.mx. Archived from the original on 2012-08-18. Retrieved 2012-08-08.
  17. ^ "apimazatlan.com.mx". apimazatlan.com.mx. Retrieved 2012-08-08.
  18. ^ "apivta.com". apivta.com. Retrieved 2012-08-08.
  19. ^ "apimanzanillo.com.mx". apimanzanillo.com.mx. Retrieved 2012-08-08.
  20. ^ "apilac.com.mx". apilac.com.mx. Retrieved 2012-08-08.
  21. ^ "apisal.com.mx". apisal.com.mx. Retrieved 2012-08-08.
  22. ^ [2] Archived September 28, 2007, at the Wayback Machine.
  23. ^ "puertoaltamira.com.mx". puertoaltamira.com.mx. Retrieved 2012-08-08.
  24. ^ "puertodetampico.com.mx". puertodetampico.com.mx. Retrieved 2012-08-08.
  25. ^ tuxpanport.com.mx
  26. ^ "apiver.com". apiver.com. Retrieved 2012-08-08.
  27. ^ "apicoatza.com". apicoatza.com. Retrieved 2012-08-08.
  28. ^ "Administración Portuaria Integral Campeche". Fis.com. Retrieved 2012-08-08.
  29. ^ "apidosbocas.com". apidosbocas.com. Archived from the original on 2012-07-03. Retrieved 2012-08-08.
  30. ^ "puerto-progreso.com.mx". puerto-progreso.com.mx. Retrieved 2012-08-08.
  31. ^ "apiqroo.com.mx". apiqroo.com.mx. Retrieved 2012-08-08.
  32. ^ "amp.gob.pa". amp.gob.pa. Retrieved 2012-08-08.
  33. ^ "cpn.gob.gt". cpn.gob.gt. Retrieved 2012-08-08.
  34. ^ "enp.hn". enp.hn. Retrieved 2012-08-08.
  35. ^ "japdeva.go.cr". japdeva.go.cr. Retrieved 2012-08-08.

External links

  • General Organization of Sea Port – Bahrain
  • Washington Ports - What is a port district?
  • Port of Allyn – Port district FAQ
  • International Association of Ports and Harbors
  • American Association of Port Authorities
  • Largest ports in the U.S. from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers
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