Port of Grangemouth

(Grangemouth Harbour)

Grangemouth Docks
©2022 Gazetteer for Scotland

Grangemouth Docks

The Port of Grangemouth is situated to the north of the town of Grangemouth on the southern shore of the Firth of Forth, between the mouths of the River Carron and the Grange Burn. It extends to 148 ha (365 acres) and represents Scotland's busiest commercial port, lying midway between Edinburgh and Glasgow in the centre of the Midland Valley.

A harbour was first developed here at the eastern end of the Forth and Clyde Canal, which opened in 1790. Several timber basins were constructed, together with a wet dock (now known as the Old Dock, covering 1.8 ha / 4.5 acres of water) which was completed in 1843. The harbour was extended with the building of the 1.3-ha / 3.2-acre Junction Dock in 1859. The more extensive Carron Dock (7.7 ha / 19 acres) opened in 1882 at the cost of £300,000 with its entrance closer to the mouth of the River Carron. By the later 19th century, the principal export was coal, while imports included timber, metals, flax, grain, sugar, fruit, chemicals and paper. The 12-ha / 30-acre Grange Dock opened in 1906, with its associated Western Channel and Eastern Channel, which took the entrance to the harbour beyond the mouth of the Carron to a sea-lock opening directly into the Forth. In 1966, the United Kingdom's first container-handling facilities were constructed here and the harbour fell under the control of the Forth Ports Authority in 1968.

Today, the Port of Grangemouth is operated by the privatised Forth Ports Plc. It represents Britain's largest feeder port and the only one that exports more than it imports. It handles around 9 million tonnes of cargo annually worth more than £6 billion, including 2.5 million tonnes of dry cargo and c. 150,000 containers, making it Scotland's largest container port. Consignments include grain, forest products, food and drink, refrigerated goods, chemicals, oil and petroleum products, machinery, steel products, timber, paper, and fruit and vegetables. As much as 30% of Scotland's gross domestic product passes through the port, which benefits from easy access to the motorway and rail network, and is well-connected to logistics and distribution hubs, such as Grangemouth Rail Freight Terminal.

The port offers 2350m (7710 feet) of quay, a dedicated liquified petroleum gas (LPG) berth, 46,000 sq. m (500,000 sq. feet) of warehousing and extensive areas for container storage.

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