The Port of Southampton is one of the country’s busiest and most successful deep water ports, with facilities to handle virtually any type of cargo. Managed by Associated British Ports (ABP), its natural deep water harbour and unique double tide allow unrestricted access for the world’s largest vessels from deep-sea container ships to cruise giants.
Southampton has always been a maritime centre, and the docks have long been a major employer in the city. From the first half of the 20th century when it handled almost half the passenger traffic of the UK, to the present day handling in excess of 42 million tonnes of cargo annually, it is one of the UK’s busiest and most important ports, making it a principal driver in the regional economy.
Equipped to handle any type of cargo, Southampton is a leading car handling port, home to the UK’s second largest container terminal and the sole UK port for all Canary Islands fresh produce imports. The port is also widely recognised as the UK’s premier cruise port and known as the ‘Cruise Capital of Northern Europe’, Southampton is home to the UK fleets of P&O Cruises and Cunard Line and the cruise industry is worth over £350m per annum to the local economy.
Today, the Port of Southampton retains its position in the heart of the city and continues to enjoy impressive growth and re-investment. “Looking at the cruise industry alone the number of passengers passing through the port has doubled in the last six years,” explains Port Director Doug Morrison. “ABP have invested in state-of-the-art facilities to respond to this, including a £19 million fourth cruise terminal on the back of a 20 year contract with Carnival and over £22m in major refurbishment programmes at our two existing passenger terminals.”
“The economic conditions in Hampshire provide us with the skilled workforce and infrastructure we need to maintain the port of Southampton as a thriving industry for both the city and the county.”