Port of Liverpool
The Port of Liverpool is the name for the enclosed 7.5 mile dock
Dock (maritime)
A dock is a human-made structure or group of structures involved in the handling of boats or ships, usually on or close to a shore.However, the exact meaning varies among different variants of the English language...

 system that runs from Brunswick Dock
Brunswick Dock
Brunswick Dock is a dock, on the River Mersey and part of the Port of Liverpool. It is situated in the southern dock system, connected to Coburg Dock to the north, Toxteth Dock to the south. The dock was opened in 1832, designed by Jesse Hartley, specifically as a timber dock...

 in Liverpool
Liverpool is a city and metropolitan borough of Merseyside, England, along the eastern side of the Mersey Estuary. It was founded as a borough in 1207 and was granted city status in 1880...

 to Seaforth Dock
Seaforth Dock
Seaforth Dock is a purpose-built dock and container terminal, on the River Mersey, England, at Seaforth, to the north of Liverpool. As part of the Port of Liverpool and Liverpool Freeport, it is operated by the Mersey Docks and Harbour Company...

, Seaforth
Seaforth, Merseyside
Seaforth is a district within the Metropolitan Borough of Sefton, Merseyside, England. It is located to the north of Liverpool, between Bootle and Waterloo.-History:...

, on the east side of the River Mersey
River Mersey
The River Mersey is a river in North West England. It is around long, stretching from Stockport, Greater Manchester, and ending at Liverpool Bay, Merseyside. For centuries, it formed part of the ancient county divide between Lancashire and Cheshire....

 and the Birkenhead Docks
Great Float
The Great Float, is a body of water on the Wirral Peninsula, England formed from the natural tidal inlet, the Wallasey Pool. It is split into two large docks, East Float and West Float, both part of the Birkenhead Docks complex. The docks run approximately inland from the River Mersey, dividing...

 between Birkenhead
Birkenhead is a town within the Metropolitan Borough of Wirral in Merseyside, England. It is on the Wirral Peninsula, along the west bank of the River Mersey, opposite the city of Liverpool...

 and Wallasey
Wallasey is a town within the Metropolitan Borough of Wirral, in Merseyside, England, on the mouth of the River Mersey, at the northeastern corner of the Wirral Peninsula...

 on the west side of the river. Garston Docks
Port of Garston
The Port of Garston, also known as Garston Docks is a group of docks on the River Mersey at Garston, Liverpool, England. It is operated by Associated British Ports.Garston Dock was originally set up by the St...

, which are in the city of Liverpool, are not a part of the Port of Liverpool.

The working docks are operated by Mersey Docks and Harbour Company
Mersey Docks and Harbour Company
The Mersey Docks and Harbour Company , formerly the Mersey Docks and Harbour Board , owns and administers the dock facilities of the Port of Liverpool, on the River Mersey, England...

, the docks to the south of the Pier Head
Pier Head
The Pier Head is a riverside location in the city centre of Liverpool, England. It is part of the Liverpool Maritime Mercantile City UNESCO World Heritage Site, which was inscribed in 2004....

 in Liverpool are operated by British Waterways
British Waterways
British Waterways is a statutory corporation wholly owned by the government of the United Kingdom, serving as the navigation authority in England, Scotland and Wales for the vast majority of the canals as well as a number of rivers and docks...



Liverpool's first dock was the pioneering Old Dock
Old Dock
The Old Dock, originally known as Thomas Steer's dock, was the world's first commercial wet dock.It was built on the River Mersey in Liverpool, England, starting in 1709 and completed in 1715, by enlarging a previous natural tidal creek which was the "Pool" that Liverpool was named after...

 built in 1715. The old Pool was converted into the enclosed dock. The dock was the world's first enclosed commercial dock. Further docks were added and eventually all were interconnected by lock gates, extending 7.5 miles along the Liverpool bank of the River Mersey.

The interconnected dock system was the most advanced port system in the world. The docks entailed ship movements within the dock system 24 hours a day, isolated from the high River Mersey tides. Parts of the system are now a World Heritage Site
World Heritage Site
A UNESCO World Heritage Site is a place that is listed by the UNESCO as of special cultural or physical significance...


Most of the smaller south end docks were closed in 1971 with Brunswick Dock remaining until closure in 1975. Many docks have been filled in to create land for buildings at the Pier Head
Pier Head
The Pier Head is a riverside location in the city centre of Liverpool, England. It is part of the Liverpool Maritime Mercantile City UNESCO World Heritage Site, which was inscribed in 2004....

, an Arena at Kings Dock, commercial estates at Toxteth and Harrington Docks and housing at Herculaneum Dock
Herculaneum Dock
Herculaneum Dock was part of the Port of Liverpool in Liverpool, England. It was situated at the southern end of the Liverpool dock system, on the River Mersey. To the north it was connected to Harrington Dock. The dock was named after the Herculaneum Pottery Company that had occupied the site...

. Other branch docks have been filled in, in the north end with a sewage processing plant being built at Sandon Dock
Sandon Dock
Sandon Dock was a dock on the River Mersey, England and part of the Port of Liverpool. Situated in the northern dock system, it was east of Sandon Half Tide Dock, to which it was once connected.It was designed by Jesse Hartley and opened in 1851...


The largest dock on the dock network, Seaforth Dock
Seaforth Dock
Seaforth Dock is a purpose-built dock and container terminal, on the River Mersey, England, at Seaforth, to the north of Liverpool. As part of the Port of Liverpool and Liverpool Freeport, it is operated by the Mersey Docks and Harbour Company...

, was opened in 1972 dealing with grain and containers, accommodating the largest containers ships of the time.

Both White Star Line
White Star Line
The Oceanic Steam Navigation Company or White Star Line of Boston Packets, more commonly known as the White Star Line, was a prominent British shipping company, today most famous for its ill-fated vessel, the RMS Titanic, and the World War I loss of Titanics sister ship Britannic...

 and Cunard Line
Cunard Line
Cunard Line is a British-American owned shipping company based at Carnival House in Southampton, England and operated by Carnival UK. It has been a leading operator of passenger ships on the North Atlantic for over a century...

 were based at the port. It was also the home port of many great ships, including RMS Baltic
RMS Baltic (1903)
RMS Baltic was an ocean liner of the White Star Line that sailed between 1904 and 1933. At 23,876 gross tons, she was the largest ship in the world until 1905...

 and the ill starred Tayleur, MV Derbyshire
MV Derbyshire
The MV Derbyshire was an ore-bulk-oil combination carrier built in 1976 by Swan Hunter, as the last in the series of the Bridge-class sextet. She was registered at Liverpool and owned by Bibby Line....

, HMHS Britannic
HMHS Britannic
HMHS Britannic was the third and largest of the White Star Line. She was the sister ship of and , and was intended to enter service as a transatlantic passenger liner. She was launched just before the start of the First World War and was laid up at her builders in Belfast for many months before...

, RMS Lusitania
RMS Lusitania
RMS Lusitania was a British ocean liner designed by Leonard Peskett and built by John Brown and Company of Clydebank, Scotland. The ship entered passenger service with the Cunard Line on 26 August 1907 and continued on the line's heavily-traveled passenger service between Liverpool, England and New...

 and the RMS Titanic.

In 1972 Canadian Pacific were the last transatlantic line to operate from Liverpool.

Port statistics

In 2010 Liverpool was the United Kingdom's seventh largest port by tonnage handled.
Product 2004 2003 2002 2001
Cereals are grasses cultivated for the edible components of their grain , composed of the endosperm, germ, and bran...

2,289,000 tonnes 2,377,000 tonnes  2,360,000 tonnes  2,455,000 tonnes
Timber may refer to:* Timber, a term common in the United Kingdom and Australia for wood materials * Timber, Oregon, an unincorporated community in the U.S...

295,000 tonnes 391,000 tonnes 406,000 tonnes 452,000 tonnes
Bulk Liquids 774,000 tonnes 727,000 tonnes 788,000 tonnes 707,000 tonnes
Bulk Cargo
Bulk cargo
Bulk cargo is commodity cargo that is transported unpackaged in large quantities. This cargo is usually dropped or poured, with a spout or shovel bucket, as a liquid or as a mass of relatively small solids , into a bulk carrier ship's hold, railroad car, or tanker truck/trailer/semi-trailer body...

6,051,000 tonnes 6,296,000 tonnes 5,572,000 tonnes 5,026,000 tonnes
Petroleum or crude oil is a naturally occurring, flammable liquid consisting of a complex mixture of hydrocarbons of various molecular weights and other liquid organic compounds, that are found in geologic formations beneath the Earth's surface. Petroleum is recovered mostly through oil drilling...

11,406,000 tonnes  11,406,000 tonnes  11,604,000 tonnes  11,236,000 tonnes
General Cargo 374,000 tonnes 556,000 tonnes 468,000 tonnes 514,000 tonnes
Total 32,171,000 tonnes 31,753,000 tonnes 30,564,000 tonnes  30,501,000 tonnes
Passengers 720,000 734,000 716,000 654,000
Containerization is a system of freight transport based on a range of steel intermodal containers...

616,000 578,000 535,000 524,000
Roll-on/roll-off ships are vessels designed to carry wheeled cargo such as automobiles, trucks, semi-trailer trucks, trailers or railroad cars that are driven on and off the ship on their own wheels...

513,000 476,000 502,000 533,000

Cruise Liner Terminal

Cruise liners have operated from the port with a terminal at Langton Dock
Langton Dock
Langton Dock is a dock on the River Mersey, England and part of the Port of Liverpool. It is situated in the northern dock system in Bootle, connected to Alexandra Dock to the north and Brocklebank Dock to the south...

. Cruise liners returned to Liverpool's Pier Head in 2008, berthing at a newly constructed cruise liner terminal
Liverpool Cruise Terminal
The Liverpool Cruise Terminal is a 350 metre long floating structure situated on the River Mersey enabling large cruise ships to visit without entering the enclosed dock system or berthing mid-river and tendering passengers ashore....

. In 2011 proposals to use the terminal for the start and end of voyages, rather than as a stop-off point, led to a dispute with Southampton
Port of Southampton
The Port of Southampton is a major passenger and cargo port located in the central part of the south coast of England. It benefits from shelter provided by the Isle of Wight and Southampton Water, unique "double tides" and close proximity to the motorway and rail networks...

 due to the large public subsidy provided for the new terminal.

Ships that have called at Liverpool include RMS Queen Elizabeth 2
RMS Queen Elizabeth 2
Queen Elizabeth 2, often referred to simply as the QE2, is an ocean liner that was operated by Cunard from 1969 to 2008. Following her retirement from cruising, she is now owned by Istithmar...

 (QE2) Grand Princess
Grand Princess
Grand Princess is a Grand-class cruise ship owned by Princess Cruises. Built in 1998 by Fincantieri Cantieri Navali Italiani in Monfalcone , Italy, at a cost of approximately US$450 million, she was the largest and most expensive passenger ship ever built at the time...

from Bermuda
Bermuda is a British overseas territory in the North Atlantic Ocean. Located off the east coast of the United States, its nearest landmass is Cape Hatteras, North Carolina, about to the west-northwest. It is about south of Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada, and northeast of Miami, Florida...

 and the RMS Queen Mary 2
RMS Queen Mary 2
RMS Queen Mary 2 is a transatlantic ocean liner. She was the first major ocean liner built since in 1969, the vessel she succeeded as flagship of the Cunard Line....

, along with a number of large Royal Navy ships. As well as being a calling point, cruises also depart from Liverpool's Langton Dock.

Liverpool is one of the few cities in the world where ocean going liners can berth in the city centre, providing a spectacular addition to the waterfront skyline.

Dockers' strike

The Liverpool Dockers' Strike
Liverpool Dockers' Strike
The Liverpool Dockers' Strike lasted from 1995 to 1998.Although referred to as a strike it was strictly a dispute because the employers, the MDHC had actually used the opportunity to sack the dockers who were caught up in a separate dispute.The Liverpool dockers refused to cross a picket line set...

, which lasted from September 1995 to February 1998, was a high profile industrial dispute involving Mersey Docks and Harbour Company
Mersey Docks and Harbour Company
The Mersey Docks and Harbour Company , formerly the Mersey Docks and Harbour Board , owns and administers the dock facilities of the Port of Liverpool, on the River Mersey, England...

 workers in the Port of Liverpool.

Rail connections

At one point the Mersey Docks and Harbour Company freight railway totalled 104 miles (166 km) of rail line, with connections to many other railways. A section of freight rail line ran under the Liverpool Overhead passenger railway
Liverpool Overhead Railway
The Liverpool Overhead Railway was the world's first electrically operated overhead railway. The railway was carried mainly on iron viaducts, with a corrugated iron decking, onto which the tracks were laid. It ran close to the River Mersey in Liverpool, England, following the line of Liverpool Docks...

, with trains constantly crossing the Dock Road from the docks into the freight terminals. Today, only the Canada Dock branch line
Canada Dock Branch
The Canada Dock Branch is a 4 mile 59 chain long railway line in Liverpool, England. The line runs from the large Edge Hill rail junction in the east of Liverpool to Seaforth Dock to the north. The line was originally built by the London and North Western Railway terminating at Canada Dock, with...

 is used to serve the docks, using diesel locomotives.

Until 1971 Liverpool Riverside railway station
Liverpool Riverside railway station
Liverpool Riverside was owned by the Mersey Docks and Harbour Board and located at Liverpool's Pier Head ship liner terminal. The station was specifically used for ship liner traffic, opening on the June 12, 1895....

 served the liner terminal at the Pier Head. Today, for passengers disembarking from the new cruise liner terminal, city centre circular buses call at the terminal directly, while Moorfields
Moorfields railway station
Moorfields station is an underground railway station in Liverpool, England. It is situated on both the Northern and Wirral Lines of the Merseyrail network and is the only station on the network which has services to all other Merseyrail stations....

 and James Street are the nearest Merseyrail
Merseyrail is a train operating company and commuter rail network in the United Kingdom, centred on Liverpool, Merseyside. The network is predominantly electric with diesel trains running on the City Line. Two City Line branches are currently being electrified on the overhead wire AC system with...


Quotes about Liverpool docks

For more than six weeks, the ship Highlander lay in Prince's Dock; and during that time, besides making observations upon things immediately around me, I made sundry excursions to the neighbouring docks, for I never tired of admiring them.

Previous to this, having only seen the miserable wooden wharves, and slip-shod, shambling piers of New York, the sight of these mighty docks filled my young mind with wonder and delight...

In Liverpool, I beheld long China walls of masonry; vast piers of stone; and a succession of granite-rimmed docks, completely inclosed, and many of them communicating, which almost recalled to mind the great American chain of lakes: Ontario, Erie, St. Clair, Huron, Michigan, and Superior. The extent and solidity of these structures, seemed equal to what I had read of the old Pyramids of Egypt...

For miles you may walk along that river-side, passing dock after dock, like a chain of immense fortresses:—Prince's, George's, Salt-House, Clarence, Brunswick, Trafalgar, King's, Queen's, and many more.
Herman Melville
Herman Melville
Herman Melville was an American novelist, short story writer, essayist, and poet. He is best known for his novel Moby-Dick and the posthumous novella Billy Budd....

, Redburn - his first voyage, 1849

It is a region, this seven-mile sequence of granite-lipped lagoons, which is invested ... with some conspicuous properties of romance; and yet its romance is never of just that quality one might perhaps expect ... Neither of the land nor of the sea, but possessing both the stability of the one and the constant flux of the other—too immense, too filled with the vastness of the outer, to carry any sense of human handicraft—this strange territory of the Docks seems, indeed, to form a kind of fifth element, a place charged with daemonic issues and daemonic silences, where men move like puzzled slaves, fretting under orders they cannot understand, fumbling with great forces that have long passed out of their control ...
Walter Dixon Scott, Liverpool, 1907

...Liverpool is the biggest port ... there was something to see from Dingle up to Bootle, and as far again as Birkenhead on the other side. Yellow water, bellowing steam ferries, white trans-atlantic liners, towers, cranes, stevedores, skiffs, shipyards, trains, smoke, chaos, hooting, ringing, hammering, puffing, the ruptured bellies of the ships, the stench of horses, the sweat, urine, and waste from all the continents of the world ... And if I heaped up words for another half an hour, I wouldn't achieve the full number, confusion and expanse which is called Liverpool.
Karel Capek
Karel Capek
Karel Čapek was Czech writer of the 20th century.-Biography:Born in 1890 in the Bohemian mountain village of Malé Svatoňovice to an overbearing, emotional mother and a distant yet adored father, Čapek was the youngest of three siblings...

, Letters from England, 1924

See also

  • Isle of Man Steam Packet
    Isle of Man Steam Packet
    The Isle of Man Steam Packet Company Limited is the oldest continuously operating passenger shipping company in the world, celebrating its 180th anniversary in 2010....

  • List of Liverpool Docks
  • Port of Liverpool Building
    Port of Liverpool Building
    The Port of Liverpool Building , is a Grade II* listed building located in Liverpool, England. It is sited at the Pier Head and along with the neighbouring Liver Building and Cunard Building is one of Liverpool's "Three Graces", which line the city's waterfront...

  • Architecture of Liverpool
    Architecture of Liverpool
    The Architecture of Liverpool is rooted in the city's development and history, as a major port city within the United Kingdom. It encompasses a wide range of architectural styles and has predominantly developed over the past 200 years, although several buildings date back as far at the 13th...

External links

The source of this article is wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.  The text of this article is licensed under the GFDL.