The UK's best connected port

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Future plans

Portsmouth International Port is the UK’s most successful municipal port. We are already considered to be a major UK port, and our continued commercial success means that we contributed £7.8m to Portsmouth City Council’s budget.

However, the city’s enviable location, connection to major transport routes, and capacity, means there is an opportunity to grow the cruise offer and shipping offer. Before the pandemic hit in March 2020, Portsmouth was scheduled to have welcomed 47 calls this year. Despite the challenges of coronavirus, we are looking to grow this, with an ambition to reach over 100 in the coming years. This is as both a turnaround port, where ships take guests away on holiday, and a port of call, where ships visit a particular city as part of their itinerary.

This year is also important for the port’s customer Brittany Ferries and the arrival of their state-of-the-art new ships that will join us, starting with the Galicia in 2020. It is a critical priority for us to replace the 30-year-old passenger boarding tower, which is required to get onto the ships.

To help us to achieve these aims, £33m of development funding for the port has been agreed by our owners, Portsmouth City Council. This funding will allowed us to carry essential levelling and extension work to take place on the cruise berth, which means the port can accommodate many more cruise lines who found the old layout challenging.

Next we plan to make changes to the current terminal building to handle cruise and ferry passengers more efficiently, and build appropriate walkway access for passengers to the ships. The funding will also enable us to construct a new passenger boarding tower, which will be built to modern, industry standards.

The remainder of the funding will be used to upgrade the facilities available at Portico, who operate the international cargo terminal at the port, to enable them to increase the amount and types of cargo they can handle.

Portsmouth International Port facts   

  • Portsmouth City Council has owned the port since 1839.
  • Most successful municipal port in the UK
  • Second busiest ferry port in the country
  • Most routes to Europe than any other port – best connected port
  • Portsmouth serves the western routes into Europe and is also often the ferry port of choice for businesses exporting from the western half of the UK – as an example we have businesses using our ferry port to export fish from Scotland to Spain.
  • 4.6m passengers including IOW ferries, 2m to continental Europe
  • 250,000 freight movements
  • Contribution to the council’s budget 2017/18 just under £8m