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Moving Cargo

Trade shapes ports

The type of cargoes it handles fundamentally shapes the port. They determine what the people who work there do, from carrying frozen carcasses of meat to supervising the unloading of crude oil. Its trades determine what facilities the port has to provide, from warehouses to tank farms. They also determine what transport links the port has, from canals to pipelines.

Aerial view of Southampton`s Outer and Inner docks

Magnifying glassAerial view of Southampton`s Outer and Inner docks

Although trade has changed enormously over the last half century, the effect of a port`s traditional trade is still often apparent. Some traces are often too big to obliterate, like canals. Other facilities have been preserved as a reminder of the port`s past, like a coal hoist at Goole or old warehouses at Liverpool and London. Where there has been extensive redevelopment for housing or office accommodation, as in London or Manchester, the docks have become landscape features. Even towns and cities which are no longer ports retain features of their former trades. 


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