The Port of Ambarli is located in Turkey on the northern shores of the Sea of Marmara off the Aegean Sea. The Port of Ambarli is about 26 kilometers south-southwest of the Port of Istanbul, and it serves the greater Istanbul metropolitan area.
The Port of Ambarli was first conceived in 1989 when Kumport Port Services and Logistics Trade Company Inc. decided to move its facilities from the Zeytinburnu district of Istanbul due to the rapid urbanization taking place in the area at the time. The first development plan for the Port of Ambarli was approved that year.
In 1992, Turkey's Ministry of Transport established ALTAS Ambarli Port Facilities Trade Company Inc. to operate and manage the Port of Ambarli. The layout plan for the Port of Ambarli was approved by the Ministry of Public Works and Settlement in 1993. The new port consolidated the services of existing terminals in the Port of Ambarli under a single umbrella to support the needs for the Istanbul region and supplement other ports in the region like the Port of Haydarpasa and the Port of Istanbul.
By 1998, increasing volumes of trade and cargo, liberalization of Turkey's economy, and the need to accommodate larger merchant vessels led to plans to expand the Port of Ambarli. At the turn of the century, it was decided to further expand the Port of Ambarli to accommodate increasing traffic in containerized cargoes.