Port Klang is a city and the largest port in Malaysia. Located on the western shores of Selangor state on the Kelang River off the on the Strait of Malacca, Port Klang is about six kilometers southwest of the city of Klang and about 38 kilometers southwest of Kuala Lumpur. It is also about 275 kilometers southeast of the Port of Penang in Malaysia and the 332 kilometers northwest of the Port of Singapore. Port Klang is part of the metropolitan area of Kelang that has a population of about 631 thousand people.
The administrative hub of a fruit- and rubber-growing area, Port Klang and the city of Kelang were a gateway to the central region during the tin rush of the 19th Century. In the late 19th Century when coffee was not as profitable as it had been, a rubber industry began to grow in the region around Port Klang. Today, the Port Klang area's industries include manufacturing of herbicides and rubber footwear as well as pineapple canning.
Humans have lived in the area of Port Klang (or Kelang) since ancient times. Archaeologists have discovered Bronze Age drums and artifacts within the Port Klang. With command of the routes to the Klang Valley where tin is abundant, Port Klang is been strategically important since its earliest days.
When the Portuguese conquered Melaka (called Malacca today) in 1511, the Sultan Johor-Riau maintained control of Port Klang. He continued to rule Port Klang and the surrounding territory until the 18th Century when the Selangor sultanate was created.
Increasing demands for tin from Western societies during the 19th Century brought quick growth and greater power to Port Klang. Seeking to control the mines and tin resources in the Klang Valley, Raja Mahdi embarked on a campaign to regain his position as territorial chief. With war declared war on Raja Abdullah, the Selangor Civil War (also called the Klang War) that lasted from 1867 until 1974. His attempts failed, but they caused the British to intervene and take control of the area of Port Klang.
Under British control after 1874, Port Klang was selected as their administrative center. In 1880, the British transferred their capital from Port Klang to the Kuala Lumpur mining center. But Port Klang was still important. Port Klang (known at the time as Port Swettenham) continued to be the main export point for tin, and the coming of the railroad in 1886 enhanced that position. By the 1890s, it had also become Selangor's main producer of coffee and rubber.
The modern Port Klang was constructed in 1901 under the name Port Swettenham after a study showed its coastal area and deep-water harbor were a good location for wharves and a port. Port Klang developed quickly after the arrival of the railway from Kuala Lumpur.
The Klang Town Authority was formed in 1945, and the Klang Town Council was established in 1954. The Port Klang Authority was created in 1963 to administer three Port Klang areas: Northport, Southpoint, and West Port. Before that time, the only operating modern port was Southpoint which the Malayan Railway Administration managed.
From 1974 until 1977, Port Klang was the capital of Selangor, and Kuala Lumpur was a Federal Territory. In 1977, the Klang Municipal Council was formed with authority over a 61 square kilometer area.
Today, Port Klang's West Port and Northport are privately owned and operated and are separate from Port Klang. Kelang Multi Terminal manages West Port, and Northport (Malaysia) BHD manages Northport in Port Klang. The Northport organization was created from a merger of the Kelang Container Terminal and Kelang Port Management. Northport (Malaysia) BHD operates Southpoint.