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Home / Cardiff and it's Bay / Port of Cardiff
Port of Cardiff - Ariel view

Port of Cardiff

The Port of Cardiff handles approximately 2.1 million tonnes of imported & exported goods annually and is one of the most important ports in the United Kingdom.

Port of Cardiff Entrance
Port of Cardiff Entrance

Situated on the northern side of the Severn Estuary, the Port of Cardiff was first opened in the late eighteenth century and quickly became pre-eminent in the export of iron-ore. It was then followed by a huge increase in the production of coal during the mid 1800’s, and with the opening of two other dock areas, the Port of Cardiff had by 1913 become the largest exporter of the world’s most important fuel. However, after a brief boom post WW1, the emergence of oil as an alternative fuel and German coal saw a sharp decline in the number of exports. The decline continued during the Great Depression and the General Strike in 1926, and after being heavily bombed by the Luftwaffe due to increased activity in WWII, coal exports finally ceased in 1964.

Port of Cardiff - Ariel view
Port of Cardiff – Ariel view

Nowadays, The Port of Cardiff specialises mainly in the import of steel, forest products, dry & bulk liquids and the handling of containers. It has three operational docks which can handle ships up to 35K tones and has up to 12 movements per tide. After heavy investment by the owners Associated British Ports (ABP) which has seen the modernisation of the port’s infrastructure, they can now offer a state-of-the-art dockside operation with storage sheds and handling facilities, computerised stock control, chilled and cold storage, steel warehousing areas & specialist cranes along with the very best storage and handling equipment. It can also accommodate up to three cruise ships in specialised berths and is only a minute walk from the centre of the city.


Tiger Bay Cardiff – Port of Cardiff

As the export of coal increased from Cardiff so did the number of dockers, sailors and associated workers who settled in & around the area and the local tidal stretches of the River Severn became colloquially known as Tiger Bay.

However, it soon gained a reputation for being a dangerous and rough place due to the mix of up to forty five different nationalities living there and the vast numbers of seamen who came ashore for a little bit of R&R whilst their ships were being reloaded. Consequently many murders, assaults and other crimes were committed and a vast amount of these remained unsolved due to the perpetrators having already sailed for ports elsewhere around the globe.

After falling derelict following WWII, Tiger Bay and the Port of Cardiff was redeveloped as part of the controversial Cardiff Bay Barage project and today has new streets, buildings, living spaces and a500 acre freshwater lake created by the Cardiff Bay Development Corporation. The controversy continued, however, when Tiger Bay was renamed Cardiff Bay on completion of the work.


Port of Cardiff Local Port Service Contact Details, Address, Postcode and Telephone Number

Cardiff Local Port Service
Associated British Ports, South Wales
Queen Alexandra House
Cargo Road

CF10 4LY

Tel: 0845 6018870 (24 Hours)

Fax No: 029 20835006 (24 Hours)

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