There is a need to move from discussing the Asia-Pacific Rim's leading port cities as shipping centres measured by container throughput. This shift in focus involves examining how different transport and telecommunications systems are interacting with each other at an international scale under the power and control of major world operators. Using a three-level network framework an attempt is made to illustrate and explain the formation of multilayered trade/communications corridors and hubs/headquarters in the Asia-Pacific Rim since the mid-1980s and to identify the factors affecting them. From this examination of spatial structure and corporate control three levels of cities in the Asia-Pacific Rim are recognised: first level cities with strong corporate representation in container shipping, air cargo, air passenger and telecommunications; second level cities with marked corporate representation in one but not all four modes; and third level cities with no marked corporate representation in any mode but with strong throughput. The third level includes the Asia-Pacific Rim's 'true' port cities. Perhaps the ambiguous category 'port city' should be reserved for them.