Port of Detroit

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Port of Detroit
CountryUnited States United States
LocationDetroit, Michigan
Coordinates42°15′27″N 83°7′20″W / 42.25750°N 83.12222°W / 42.25750; -83.12222
Owned byDetroit/Wayne County Port Authority
Type of harborNatural
Land area80 acres (32 ha)
Executive DirectorKyle Burleson
ChairmanJonathan C. Kinloch
Vessel arrivals1,333 (2011)
Annual cargo tonnage13,738,737 (2011)

The Port of Detroit is located along the west side of the Detroit River, and is the largest seaport in the state of Michigan. The port is overseen by the Detroit/Wayne County Port Authority, a five-member board of directors appointed by the State of Michigan, Wayne County, and the City of Detroit. The authority coordinates river commerce on the waters and shoreline of Wayne County. The port consists of multiple marine terminals handling general, liquid, and bulk cargo[1] as well as passengers. The Port of Detroit's single most valuable commodity is steel, and the largest commodity handled by tonnage is ore.[2] Other important commodities handled at the port include stone, coal and cement.


The port authority is governed by a board composed of five members. Two members are appointed by the government of the city of Detroit, two members are appointed by the government of Wayne County, and one member is appointed by the Governor of Michigan. These parties also provide the operational funding for the authority. Day-to-day operations are overseen by a hired executive director. The authority is charged with the assisting in the application doling out of state and federal grants, as well as facilitating capital improvements of the port.[3] The authority is also involved in environmental programs, such as removing abandoned vessels from local waterways, and is permitted to finance bonds for port terminals or other development along the riverfront.


The Detroit Wayne County Port District was established in 1933, though, the Detroit/Wayne County Port Authority was not organized until 1978.[4] The first board meeting of the authority was held on October 10, 1980, and Henry Ford II was chosen as its first chairman.



The Port of Detroit contains a number of terminals in Detroit, River Rouge, and Ecorse. General cargo is processed through the NT&D Detroit Terminal and the NT&D Ecorse Terminal, operated by Nicholson Terminal & Dock Company. Specific liquid and bulk cargoes are processed at other terminals along the Detroit and Rouge rivers. The DWCPA only owns the NT&D Detroit Terminal located in the Delray neighborhood of Detroit. All other marine terminals at the Port of Detroit are privately owned and operated.


Port Detroit

The port authority opened the $22 million Carl M. Levin Public Dock and Terminal on July 18, 2011 to attract Great Lakes cruise ships, and possibly to begin passenger ferry service between Detroit and Windsor, Ontario.[5] The two-story, 21,000 square foot terminal is located at 130 East Atwater Street between the Renaissance Center and Hart Plaza, and includes a 250-foot off-shore wharf.[6] A customs processing area is located on the first floor of the terminal building, and a public lounge and open-air balcony is located on the second floor. The offices for the Detroit/Wayne County Port Authority are also located in the facility.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Port Terminals". Detroit/Wayne County Port Authority. Archived from the original on 13 November 2006. Retrieved 18 December 2011.
  2. ^ "Commodities". Port of Detroit. Archived from the original on 10 May 2008. Retrieved 19 December 2011.
  3. ^ "Frequently Asked Questions". portofdetroit.com. Wayne County Port Authority. Archived from the original on 28 February 2015. Retrieved 23 February 2015.
  4. ^ "History". DWCPA website. Detroit/Wayne County Port Authority. Archived from the original on 16 December 2011. Retrieved 18 December 2011.
  5. ^ "Detroit's New Public Dock Open For Business". WJJ. 18 July 2011. Retrieved 18 December 2011.
  6. ^ "Public Dock & Terminal Fact Sheet". www.portdetroit.com/. Detroit/Wayne County Port Authority. Archived from the original on 23 January 2015. Retrieved 23 January 2015.

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