The Port of Vancouver USA’s popular tour season wrapped up in August with just over 400 attendees this summer.  These events have grown in popularity over the last few years, with buses filled to capacity and a wait list of people eager to see the interesting work underway at our facilities first-hand.

“At almost every tour people are amazed by the magnitude of business taking place at the port.  The most frequent comment I get from community members is that they had no idea this kind of activity was taking place right here in their own backyard,” said Community Relations Manager Julie Rawls, who conducts each tour.

The events of Sept. 11, 2001 resulted in tighter security at U.S. domestic ports.  The U.S. Department of Homeland Security and the U.S. Coast Guard oversee security at the Port of Vancouver, and often a public tour with staff is the only way for citizens to experience the important trade and international commerce taking place at the port.

“My husband, daughter and I attended a tour and were all thoroughly impressed.  Such a wealth of information was given and being able to view things ‘behind the scenes’ was so interesting,” one attendee noted on a comment card. “We’ve lived in Vancouver for over 30 years and had no idea of the value, importance and level of activity at the port,” she added.

A typical public tour starts with a presentation about the port, including its leadership, size, and commodities that are imported and exported.  The group then boards a bus for a guided tour of the port’s marine, rail and industrial operations. 

Our public tours will continue in 2020, with dates announced early next year.  To learn more about these events, and to sign up for early notification, visit and subscribe to the port’s tour mailing list.