The port encompasses a total area of 12,000 acres (49 km2) wherein many industrial zones operate. In addition to the Pakistan Steel Mills (PSM) and KESC Bin Qasim Power Plant, around 80% of the Pakistan’s automotive industry is located at Port Qasim. The port also provides direct waterfront access to two major nearby industrial areas, Export Processing Zone (Landhi) and Korangi Industrial Area. Approximately 60% of country’s export and import is originated from these areas. Port Qasim is managed by Port Qasim Authority, a semi-autonomous government body.
In the 1970s, as a part of Pakistani Prime Minister Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto’s program for economic reforms and establishment of heavy industries, country’s first steel mill (Pakistan Steel Mills) was established near the southern city of Karachi. A purpose-built specialised port facility was also decided to be established for bulk handling of the massive imports of raw materials for steel production by the Pakistan Steel Mill of Pakistan. In addition to the future economic demands and strategic needs, this port was also meant to relieve congestion at the only seaport Karachi Port of the country. This port was named as Port Muhammad bin Qasim (also known as Port Qasim), after the Muslim general Muhammad bin Qasim who conquered Daybul and the coastal areas of Sindh around 712 CE.