The Falmouth Harbour Commissioners were established in 1870 by an Act of Parliament with responsibility for operating the Inner Harbor (except for the Falmouth Docks), the Penryn River to Boyers Cellars, the southern Carrick Roads, and much of Falmouth Bay. They also regulate the Harbor Area and operate small craft facilities for the public.
The Falmouth Harbor Commissioners also operate the Port of Truro, located about 10 kilometers northeast of Falmouth. The two ports are very different. While the Port of Falmouth primarily serves passing vessels, the Port of Truro is near road networks and is well-positioned to distribute bulk commodities to inland locations.
Located within the Fal Estuary, the Port of Falmouth offers complete services for commercial and fishing vessels. The port is home to the United Kingdom’s biggest offshore bunkering facility. It also contains a shipyard, operated by A&P Falmouth, with services including in-service repairs, overhauls, and specialist services like welding and on-site machining.
Cargo-handling facilities at the Port of Falmouth are located at the Falmouth docks and upriver at the Literage Quay in Truro. Cargoes include bagged, packaged, bulk, and palletized goods. The Port of Falmouth offers sheltered deep-water moorings for vessels to 219 meters long on the River Fal. Primary cargoes handled include packaged, bagged, palletized, and bulk goods.
Entrance to the Port of Falmouth is through two channels. Large vessels use the Eastern Channel with minimum depth of 14 meters. The Eastern Breakwater is 259 meters long with alongside depth of 8 meters.
Operated by A&P Falmouth, there are five berths with a total of 2440 meters with alongside depths from 6.5 to 8 meters. They include the County Wharf, Duchy Wharf, Queen’s Wharf, King’s Wharf, and Empire Wharf. Three graving docks offer dry dock capacity for 100 thousand DWT.
Eastern Breakwater contains 8.4 thousand square meters of warehouse space and three hectares of open storage. The tanker terminals include two berths of a total 330.2 meters with alongside depth of 4.9 and 7.9 meters. Paul Fairweather & Company Ltd operates a private 82 meters long with alongside depth of 3.9 meters with berths for fishing vessels and coastal tankers.
The Port of Falmouth’s Town Quay at Penryn can accommodate vessels to 54 meters long. Used mainly for pleasure craft and fishing vessels, the harbor dries at low tide and offers 4.3 meters draft at HW springs. Open storage is available quayside. At 350 meters long with alongside depth of 4.8 meters, the Literage Quay offers storage for bulk cargoes.
Falmouth Bay offers deep-water sheltered anchorage for all vessels. Cross Road can accommodate vessels to 207 meters with over 24 meters of depth available. A swinging mooring can handle vessels to 183 meters long with unlimited draught. Carrick Roads contains sheltered anchorage for vessels to 170 meters long with 10 meters draft. Anchorage for smaller vessels is available at St. Just Pool and on the Falmouth Bank. Frigate and Caldy Moorings are in the Inner Harbor and can accommodate vessels to 63 meters long with draft of 3.5 meters. The Truro location can accommodate vessels to 219 meters at the King Harry Reach. All deep-water berths at Falmouth Docks have ship repair facilities.
At Falmouth Docks, the Falmouth Docks & Engineering Co. offers stevedoring, passenger, towing, and other marine services. They are equipped with a full line of equipment and facilities for cargo-handling and cruise vessels.