The Albany Port District Commission is the port authority for the Port of Albany. Since the Port of Albany was founded more than 300 years ago, it has been an important hub for transportation in the region. With traffic moving from the Hudson River to the state's far-reaching canal system and quick access to road and rail networks, the Port of Albany occupies a strategic position in the future development of the region. The Albany International Airport is only 15 minutes from the port.
In 2007, the Port of Albany welcomed 72 vessels carrying a total of 768.8 thousand tons of cargo, including 648 thousand tons of outbound cargo and 120.8 thousand tons of inbound cargo. The major cargo in 2007 through the Port of Albany was grain (458.5 thousand tons), but the port also handled scrap iron (173.8 thousand tons), wood pulp (44.4 thousand tons), heavy-lift / project cargoes (33.5 thousand tons), and molasses (31 thousand tons). The port also handled smaller volumes of steel, liquid fertilizer, salt, and cement.
The Hudson River is open to traffic throughout the year. Maximum draft at the Port of Albany is 9.5 meters, and it can accommodate ships up to 288.6 meters long and 33.5 meters wide with a maximum air draft of 40.8 meters. The Hudson River Pilots Association offers 24-hour-a-day service to the Port of Albany.
The Port of Albany's deep-water facilities are located on the west (Albany) and east (Rensselaer) sides of the Hudson River. Wharves on the Albany side are a total of 1280 meters long and on the Rensselaer side a total of 335 meters long.
The wharf at the Rensselaer Terminal also includes a 4-hectare open storage yard. The Port of Albany contains two backup warehouses and five transit sheds covering 32.5 thousand square meters of sprinkler-protected storage as well as a five-hectare road salt depot and a five-hectare scrap yard.
The Port of Albany also contains a 21.7-million cubic meter grain elevator and capacity to store over 68 thousand cubic meters of bulk liquid cargo at two terminals. The Port of Albany is served by 32 kilometers of standard gauge rail tracks and can handle on-dock heavy-lift vessel-to-rail transfer. The Port of Albany offers super-sacking and debagging operations.
The Port of Albany specializes in handling heavy-lift and project cargoes, dimensional cargoes, grain, cocoa beans, salt, forest products, steel and wind energy products, and millscale and gypsum. The Port of Albany has large food-grade storage capacity equipped with fire sprinklers and fogging to control insects. With a central location in New York State for distributing cargoes to grinding plants throughout the region, the Port of Albany is focusing on importing, handling, and storing cargoes of cocoa beans.
The Port of Albany is well-equipped to handle heavy-lift, dimensional, and project cargoes. With dockside rail, the Port of Albany offers on-dock capacity for one thousand pounds per square foot. It also contains over eight hectares of open storage for these cargoes.
The Port of Albany is one of the country's outstanding small cities, and the Port of Albany focuses on developing its waterfront property along the Hudson River, not only for waterborne commerce but for public recreation as well. The Albany Port District Commission secured funding for and planned an ambitious riverfront development project called the Corning Preserve. The project contains 1.7 hectares of parkland, a new amphitheater, a walking and bike trail, floating boat docks, and a visitors center. The new trail is part of the 56-kilometer Mohawk-Hudson Bike-Hike Trail that extends north to the Town of Rotterdam on the Mohawk River and part of the planned statewide Canalway trail running parallel to the old Erie Canal.