The old Port of Fortaleza was located in the central portion of the city, near the monument Cristo Redentor and Fortaleza cathedral

The technicians who first studied the conditions of the old Portof Fortaleza proposed the construction of a breakwater over the reefs and over the beach, and of a wharf or jetty for the docking of ships. They advised a deepening of Barreta Channel, thus destrying, if necessary, part of the reef, so as to increase the speed of currents, avoinding the build-up of sediment in the port.

In 1875, Sir John Hawkshore, following the ideas of Zózimo Barroso and Ch. Neat, proposed the construction of a breakwater 670 in lenght at the old port, connected to the coast by an open viaduct. The construction of the breakwater was begun only in 1887, due to the enormous difficulty in obtaining the stone necessary for the work. Nevertheless, its execution was hindered by accumulation of sand caused by the wind's action, in the bay sheltered by the breakwater.

In 1897, these works were suspended when the breakwater was already 432m long. Due to the failure of the Hawkshaw plan, the working conditions for loading and unloading in the old port become intolerable for trabelers and for trading.

In 1908, a commission led by the engineer Manoel Carneiro de Souza Bandeira proceeded with a detailed and comprehensive investigation into the old port and the Mucuripe Bay, for topo-hydrographical studies and in order to study wind patterns, tides, currents and the movement of the sands.

In 1910, a report was published in which the engineer Souza Bandeira presented the results of all the research performed in Ceará and of the pre study towards the development of an improvement project for the old Port.

In 1918, The Transport and Public Works minister supported the urgent need for execution of work to improve the Port of Fortaleza,as loading and unloading conditions for passengers and merchandise were becoming more and more difficult and dangerous. This was, then, the perfect occasion to undertake the port improvement works, according to the plan drwn-up by the engineer Souza Bandeira, but as a result of the increase in salaries and the cost of contruction materials at the time, the undertaking of this enterprise became unviable.

In the same period, the engineer Lucas Bicalho, who ran the Port Authority, thought of the implementation of another, less expensive, improvement plan, similar to that of Hawkshaw, wich would satisfy the requirement of providing sufficient extension of well-equipped wharf, to a depthof 8m.

In 1920, by means of act No 14.555, the project organized by the Port Authority was approved, and in the following year the Norton Griffiths Firm was contracted, under administrations, to perform the construction. The work took place in 1922 and 1923, but was suspended soon afterwards for a number of administrative reasons.

On December 20th of 1933, under act No 23.606, the Ceará State Government received a grant for construction, equipment and development of the Port of Fortaleza. The period of the grant was 60 years, counting from the date of registration of the grant contract at the Union Accounts Court.

Act No 544, of July 7th 1938, amended Act No 23.606, in the cause referring to the location of the port construction, transferring it to Mucuripe Bay.

In 1939, the building site was estabilished for implantation of infrastructure for the first part of the wharf. The first foundations were executed by the NAtional Civil and Water Construction Company
( CIVILHIDRO ), the result of this enterprise being the incorporation of 426m of wharf for docking at the Port of Fortaleza.

In 1952 part of the 1st portion of 6m wharf and warehouses A-1 and A-2 were constructed.

1953 saw the docking of the steamship Bahia, the first ship to dock in the new Port of Fortaleza.

During 1964, warehouse A-3 constructed, as well as the first construction works for the passenger terminal, the enclosing wall and the wharf with 8m in depth.

In 1968, warehouse A-4, the extension of the 10m deepquay and the "Passenger Terminal" were inaugurated.

In the year 1980, the fisherman's quay was opened, the port's petroleum pier was inaugurated on January 28th 1982, and in 1984, warehouse A-5 was unveiled.