There are more than 300 ports in the United States, and they are all different. Ports may be operated by a state, a county, a municipality, a private corporation, or a combination. Many ports are complex entities, involving facilities for transportation by several modes of transportation: water, rail, road, or even air. Ports are a vitally important part of the nationwide Marine Transportation System, which includes not only ports, but also inland and coastal waterways, and the intermodal connectors. The Maritime Administration through its StrongPorts program provides expertise on port financing and port infrastructure, and has assisted major ports in their recent redevelopment plans.
We also chair the National Port Readiness Network Steering Group, and administer Port Planning Orders for 17 commercial strategic ports so they may fulfill defense requirements.