The Port of Bethel Department of Port and Harbor, led by a Harbor Director, is responsible for managing facilities and activities at the Port of Bethel. The City Manager appoints and supervises the Port of Bethel Director.
The Port of Bethel receives and transships petroleum products and freight destined for the Yukon-Kuskokwim Delta area. The Port of Bethel also supports the local commercial salmon industry. The Port of Bethel Department of Port and Harbor is responsible for operating all port facilities including the small boat harbor, the seawall, and the cargo and petroleum docks. The Department also enforces regulations governing the Port of Bethel, including assuring the safety of life and property.
There is a nine-acre facility at the Port of Bethel Cargo Dock that stores and distributes cargo to towns and villages across western and northern Alaska. Since there are no road or rail connections linking the Port of Bethel to the outside world, the Port of Bethel Cargo Dock and staging area are vital to the movement of freight in the Delta.
The Port of Bethel also contains the State-owned Bethel Airport that serves two major passenger airlines, two cargo carriers, and many air-taxi services. There are also two float plane bases near the airport in the Port of Bethel.
With 26 kilometers (16 miles) of local roads, the Port of Bethel is the most northern medium-draft port in the United States. During the summer, river travel is the primary transportation. In the winter, the river is a 241-kilometer (150-mile) ice road serving the surrounding villages.