The Port of Grangemouth lies on the south shores of the River Forth estuary about 34 kilometers west-northwest of Edinburgh, Scotland. It is Scotland’s main oil port and home to one of the biggest petrochemical plants in Europe. It is also the country’s busiest container port, handling trade with North America and Europe. In 2001, almost 18 thousand people lived in the Port of Grangemouth.
Founded in 1769 by Sir Lawrence Dundas, the Port of Grangemouth was created to serve as the last shipment point on the Forth-Clyde Canal. It was soon the major eastern gateway for Glasgow (about 40 kilometers to the southeast), exporting coal and importing timber and grain.
In the early 20th Century, it became an important importer of oil, and an oil refinery was built there. Petroleum refining and petrochemicals accounted for most of the city’s growth throughout the century. Being equidistant between Edinburgh and Glasgow, the Port of Grangemouth is a popular commuter town and an inexpensive overnight stop for business travelers and tourists.
Forth Ports Ltd owns and operates the facilities at Grangemouth and four other ports on the Firth of Forth. The Port of Grangemouth is the most important port in central Scotland, handling about nine million tons of cargo per year. It is located near Scotland’s road network, it is well-positioned to distribute the 2.5 million tons of dry cargo imports of raw materials for use by Scottish industry.
Vessels enter the Port of Grangemouth through a 237.6-meter long dock with depth of 11.7 meters. It is Scotland’s main container port with ample facilities for handling roll-on/roll-off cargoes and heavy loads at the South Quay. The East Quay handles bulk cargoes like clay, coal, bauxite, de-icing salt, forest products, and steel. Other important imports include rubber, cement, and wood pulp. Other exports are mainly Scotland’s famous whisky, electronics, and machinery.