PORTS FAQ

Frequently Asked Questions

How many ports are in Washington State?

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, along with 108 associate members. Visit our port map to see where the many ports are located.

Can you have a port without water?

In a word, yes! For instance, many airports are port districts. The primary purpose of a port district in Washington State is economic development – and you don’t need a navigable waterway to do that. The Legislature has given ports broad authority to promote economic development – they can build and operate airports, marine terminals, marinas, railroads, and industrial parks, and in some cases, promote tourism.

Where do Washington’s ports rank nationally?

Washington has the largest locally controlled public port system in the world with 75 port districts. The state has 2 percent of the U.S. population, and its ports handle 7 percent of U.S. exports and 6 percent of all imports. The Port of Seattle and Port of Tacoma combined are the third largest container complex in North America, after Los Angeles/Long Beach.

What are the state’s leading exports and imports?

Washington’s leading exports are a terrific example of the state’s changing economy: forest products, airplanes and aircraft parts continue to comprise a large percentage of exports from the state. But now, they’re joined by high-tech products, computers, computer parts, and software.

Imports also vary. Washington is a major importer of forest products, high-tech equipment, and aircraft engines; but cars and auto parts are now key imports as well.

Who are Washington’s leading trading partners?

Content pending

How do ports use my taxes?

Ports use tax revenues to invest in infrastructure designed to grow the economy – ports serve as economic engines for their communities. Examples of port investments include marine terminals, airport facilities, improved rail infrastructure, industrial parks, and marinas. Ports then lease facilities or charge a fee for their use, using the new facilities to generate jobs and economic development. For more information, please visit the section on port financing.

What is the Washington Public Ports Association? How do I join?

If you would like to learn more about the Association’s purpose and activities, click here. For application information, click here.

Where can I find a WPPA member directory?

Our member directory is divided into two sections, our port members and our associate members. If you would like a hard copy, please contact the Association office at (360) 943-0760.

Where is WPPA’s office?

WPPA’s office is located at 1501 Capitol Way in Olympia, at the corner of 15th and Capitol Way. From Interstate 5 north or south, take Exit 105B. Turn left on Capitol Way and right on 15th. The office is located in Suite 304. Parking is available for a small fee near the office.

How do I contact my legislators?

Washington State Senate: P.O. Box 40482, Olympia, Washington, 98504-0482, or access their email at www.leg.wa.gov.

Washington State House of Representatives: P.O. Box 40600, Olympia, Washington, 98504-0600, or access their email through www.leg.wa.gov.

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