This paper aims to review the evolution of the port authority's role and recent changes in port administrative structure worldwide, and to discuss its implication for restructuring Taiwanese port authorities. It is found that the port authority is expected to play a proactive role in strategically managing overall port operations, and aggressively market its ports to port customers with a view to increasing cargo throughput and economic growth in its region. The change in the port authority's role has driven a change in port administrative management structure worldwide. The proposed restructuring of port authorities in Taiwan is accompanied by some potential pitfalls. These include that the legislative framework of the programme is driven by political rather than professional concerns, and the port authority's dual role as a regulator and as an operator at ports is against the principles of 'separation of port administration (regulatory functions) and business management' recently adopted worldwide. These pitfalls can impede the achievement of the objectives, including directing port authorities towards becoming independent commercially oriented entities. Therefore, this paper recommends that port corporatization approach will be a good alternative for restructuring Taiwanese port authorities.