The Port of Pittsburgh Commission is the port authority responsible for helping create jobs and improve the quality of life for residents of southwestern Pennsylvania by promoting commercial use and development of the State's inland waterways and intermodal transportation systems. The Commission was created by the Pennsylvania Legislature in 1992. It contains four members appointed by the Legislature and eleven members appointed by the Governor.
The Port of Pittsburgh District covers a 12-county area and over 300 kilometers of commercially navigable waterways within the State of Pennsylvania. A system of 17 locks and dams make the waterways navigable. The Port of Pittsburgh supports more than 200 public and private terminals and service suppliers. The Commission is a one-stop shipping link for port customers who need information about the river system and available services.
In 2007, the Port of Pittsburgh handled more than 38 million tons of cargo, including 28 million tons of coal, 5.8 million tons of non-fuel crude materials, 2.2 million tons of primary manufactured goods, 1.2 million tons of petroleum and petroleum products, and 794 thousand tons of chemicals and chemical products. Other cargoes included food and farm products and manufacturing equipment and products.
The Port of Pittsburgh is the United States' second busiest inland port, handling more cargo than the ports of Philadelphia, St. Louis, and Norfolk. It also supports some 34 thousand jobs in the southwestern Pennsylvania area. The Port of Pittsburgh sits at the origin of a 16 thousand kilometer waterway system that serves markets in 24 states. The port is served by two major railroads and four interstate highways. Today, the Port of Pittsburgh is engaged in a major project to improve commercial shipping on the Monongahela River by renovating three small locks and constructing a new dam and lock.