Washington has the largest locally-controlled public port system in the world with 75 port districts. Washington represents 2% of the U.S. population, and Washington ports handle 7% of U.S. exports and 6% of all imports. The Port of Seattle and Port of Tacoma combined (the Northwest Seaport Alliance) are the third largest container complex in North America.
Washington ports range in size from accommodating international deep-draft trade to small community marinas and recreational boat launches and rail operators.
There are 75 ports in the state, located in 33 of the 39 counties. Currently, 69 ports are members of the Washington Public Ports Association, visible above, and below within the map. Notice something? Not all ports are located on waterways -- and they don't need to be! Many airports and railways are port districts. The primary purpose of a port district in Washington State is economic development – port districts can build and operate airports, marine terminals, marinas, railroads, and industrial parks, and in some cases, promote tourism.