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Container Terminal

Container Terminal

View this story in pictures

Western Docks: Expansion Plans (Drawing)
During the 1960s, passenger traffic through Southampton declined because travellers to America preferred to use quicker aircraft services. Queen Mary completed her last crossing of the Atlantic in 1967, followed within a week by Queen Elizabeth. Faced with this decline, the government set up an enquiry into the future of British ports. The report said that Southampton could be developed as a container port because the port had deep water, available land and good road and rail connections. Plans were drawn up in 1965 for a £60 million extension of the Western Docks to handle containers and the ships that carried them.

Encounter Bay: Container Ship
Extra quays were built west of King George V dry-dock on mudland reclaimed from the River Test. Dredging work on the site started in February 1967. The first phase, the 900 ft (270 m) berth 201, was opened for business in October 1968. This quay was soon doubled in length to create another berth.

Avesta: Vehicle Carrier
As more container companies chose Southampton as their main UK port, extra berths were built to the west to create the Prince Charles Container Terminal. They were gradually brought into use in the 1970s. A new Maritime Freightliner terminal was opened next to the container berths to handle the increasing traffic. Storage space for cars and vans about to be exported has also been provided.

Docks: Stack-A-Truck
Today, special container trains, operating from the two terminals next to the port, run to major distribution centres across the UK. As well as open-air space for 13,500 containers, a depot offers space for storage and cargo inspection. Modern container ships arrive at Southampton from across the world, some able to carry over 2500 containers. The terminal is now the second largest container port in the UK and handles over half of all the UK's container trade with East Asia.


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