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Port of Liverpool Building
The Port of Liverpool is the name for the enclosed 7.5 mile dock system that runs from Herculaneum Dockmarker to Seaforth Dockmarker, in the city of Liverpoolmarker, Englandmarker, on the east side of the River Merseymarker. It is combined with the dock facilities built around the Great Floatmarker of the Wirral Peninsulamarker, located on the west side of the river.

The working docks are operated by Mersey Docks and Harbour Company, the docks to the south of the Pier Headmarker are operated by British Waterways.


At one point the Mersey Docks and Harbour Company railway totalled 104 miles (166 km) of line, with connections to many other railways. A section of the line ran, unsegregated from other road traffic, along the dock road. Today only the Canada Dock Branch is used.

For passengers disembarking from the new cruise liner terminal, city centre circular buses call at the terminal directly, while Moorfieldsmarker and James Streetmarker are the nearest Merseyrail stations.


The interconnected dock system, entailing ship movements within the dock system 24 hours a day, isolated from the high River Mersey tides, were the most advanced port system in the world. Parts of the system are now a World Heritage Site.

Both White Star Line and Cunard Line were based at the port. It was also the home port of many great ships, including RMS Baltic and the ill starred Tayleur, MV Derbyshire, HMHS Britannic, RMS Lusitaniamarker and the RMS Titanicmarker.

In 1971 what would be the last transatlantic liner for over 30 years sailed from Liverpool. Cruise liners returned to Liverpool in 2008, where they dock at the new cruise liner terminal. Ships that have called at Liverpool include RMS Queen Elizabeth 2 (QE2) [Grand Princess| from Bermudamarker and the "Queen Mary 2", along with a number of large Royal Navy ships. As well as being a calling point, cruises also set out from Liverpool. 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.

The Liverpool Dockers' Strike in 1995 was a pivotal point for the Port of Liverpool. The dispute ended in 1998.

Recent activity

In 2007 Liverpool was the United Kingdom's seventh largest port by tonnage handled.
Product 2004 2003 2002 2001
Grain 2,289,000 tonnes 2,377,000 tonnes 2,360,000 tonnes 2,455,000 tonnes
Timber 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 6,051,000 tonnes 6,296,000 tonnes 5,572,000 tonnes 5,026,000 tonnes
Oil Terminal 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
Containers 616,000 578,000 535,000 524,000
RoRo 513,000 476,000 502,000 533,000

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 neighboring 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...

[I]n 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, 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, 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, Letters from England, 1924




File:Dkbkpl29.jpgFile:Dkbkpl30.jpgFile:Queens Dock, Liverpool.jpgFile:Wapping Dock buildings 1.jpg

File:Canning Half Tide Dock.jpgFile:Ship in Dukes Dock.jpg|Dukes dockFile:Albert Dock3.JPG

File:Boat in Victoria Dock.jpg

File:Liverpool DUKW Splashdown.jpgFile:Princes dock, Liverpool.jpgFile:Clarence Graving Dock's Enterance .jpg|Clarence graving dock entrance

File:Dock Clock Tower.jpgFile:Nelson Dock sign.jpg

File:Wellington Dock sign.jpgFile:Waterloo dock gates.jpgFile:Liverpool - Wellington Dock and the Tall Ships - - 472478.jpg

File:Bramley Dock Dock sign.jpg

File:Sandon Dock sign.jpg

File:Sandon Dock Gate sign.jpg

File:Collingwood Dock sign.jpg


File:Stanley Dock sign.jpg

File:Stanley Dock 2.jpgFile:Dock in Port of Liverpool 2.jpgFile:GladstoneLock.jpgFile:GladstoneDocks-June2009.jpg

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