Opened as a port for foreign trade in 1897, the Port of Namp'o began to develop into a modern port in 1945 after liberation from occupying Japanese forces. The North Korean government invested heavily in the area, and the city's industries grew.
Today, the Port of Namp'o has many busy heavy industries and some light industry. These include the Namp'o Smelter Complex, the Namp'o Glass Corporation, and other local factories. The Port of Namp'o is also home to the Namp'o Shipbuilding Complex and the Namp'o Fishery Complex. To the city's north are factories that produce aquatic products and sea salt.
As the chief seaport in the area, the Port of Namp'o is connected to the country's interior by rail and by transport on the Taedong River. It is connected to P'yongang by railway and a large expressway.
The Port of Namp'o erected an 8-kilometer long sea wall with three lock chambers that allow ships of up to 50 thousand DWT to pass. While the Port of Namp'o can accommodate ships to 20 thousand DWT, it is frozen during the winter.
This small natural river port offers fair shelter. Its channel is from 6.4 to 7.6 meters deep, and it offers anchorage of from 11 to 12.2 meters. The cargo pier has alongside depth of from 7.1 to 9.1 meters, and the oil terminal's alongside depth is 3 meters.