Three kilometres (1.75 miles) long, it contained more than 5000 metres (16,500 feet) of deep-water quays. It was connected to the Royal Victoria Dock by a lock. The entrance to the dock was via a large lock and basin at Gallions Reach. There were single storey transit sheds rather than warehouses, to emphasise the fast turn around for ships. It was also the first London dock to be lit by electricity.
The main cargoes handled at the Royal Albert Dock were tobacco, chilled and frozen meat, grain and general cargo. The dock closed in 1980.