PortCities London
UKBristolHartlepoolLiverpoolLondonSouthampton
You are here:  PortCities London home > About maritime London
Text Only About this Site Feedback
Explore this site
About maritime London
Early port
Tudor and Stuart port
18th-century port
19th-century port
20th-century port
People and places
Port communities
Crime and punishment
Leisure, health and housing
Thames art, literature and architecture
The working Thames
London's docks and shipping
Trades, industries and institutions
Port of science and discovery
Historical events
Ceremony and catastrophe
London in war and conflict
Fun and games
Things to do
Timeline games
Matching games
Send an e-card

The Port of London today

Introduction
The context: why sea-borne trade has changed
New types of ships
How the port of London has changed
Terminals of the port of London today
*
Send this story to a friendSend this story to a friend
Printer-friendly versionPrinter-friendly version
View this story in picturesView this story in pictures

Introduction

ASEA crane loading containers on to the Moreton Bay, with the lighter Vindictive in the foreground

View full size imageThe old and the new - a lighter at Tilbury. © NMM

Despite the closure of the old docks and the wharves, London is still one of Britain's leading ports. It handles considerable amounts of traffic, but few goods now arrive in London directly by sea. Instead, most are unloaded at terminals much further down the Thames.

With all its docks closed or sold off, the Port of London Authority now concentrates on managing safety on the tidal Thames. It is responsible for maintaining river channels for navigation, moorings, lights and buoys. The PLA also provides a wide range of services for shipping, including, since 1988, pilotage services.

The port of London and the trade it handles have changed a great deal since the heyday of the 1950s and 1960s. To understand why, it is necessary to appreciate how the world's sea-borne trade has changed during that time.

Page 1 of 5. Next page

*
*
Glossary
Buoy
Lighter
Pilotage
Port
Port of London Authority (PLA)

Find out more
GalleriesHandling containers
How containers have simplified port operations
*
*
*
GalleriesVideoThe 20th-century port video gallery
From 1914 to the present day
*
*
*
StoriesThe 20th-century port
The changing fortunes of Docklands and the port
*
*
Related Resources
Related Galleries1 Galleries
Related Images2 Images
*
*
8
National Maritime Museum/Royal Observatory GreenwichNew Opportunities Fund 
Legal & CopyrightPartner sites:BristolHartlepoolLiverpoolSouthamptonAbout this SiteFeedbackText Only