2023 – a year in review

29 Dec 2023

A year in review – key highlights, facts and figures of what’s been happening in the Cattewater, Port of Plymouth in 2023:

  • 2.02 million tonnes of cargo passed through the commercial wharves within the Cattewater.
  • 57,000 lorry movements off the road in to the South West, as the port continues to offer well established short sea shipping routes, directly into the heart of the region.
  • Nearly 800 commercial Pilotage moves within the port.
  • Fishing vessel visits continued to increase, with July breaking records in the volume of the catch landed in Plymouth.
  • Numerous new stakeholders have established themselves within the port, from marine education, autonomy and cargo operators using the port to undertake business.
  • For every direct job in the port, seven indirect jobs are supported.
  • With the Harbour Authority taking back the responsibility of the Barbican Landing Stage, we were key facilitators in ensuring Plymouth had its busiest year for cruise visitors in decades.
  • The facility also allowed the city to start to welcome leisure visitors, with a walk ashore option direct into the Barbican. A number of high profile superyachts also took advantage of this wonderful asset.
  • As well as superyachts, and numerous sail training vessels, we hosted a full scale replica of a Spanish Galleon, which caught the city’s imagination, with close to 10k visiting during its visit (we look forward to welcoming her back in 2024 too).
  • The port continued to host school groups; these excellent visits are enjoyed by all, staff, teachers and, of course, the students as they visit all the harbour fleet, meet the team, learn about the trade in and out of the port, before going afloat in the afternoon to see first-hand the ships in port.
  • The Harbour Authority supported numerous charities, specifically Devon Mind as partners in the ‘Harbour Run’ which went from strength to strength, with double the participants in 2023 from 2022. This sporting event is a 10k run around the port.
  • The port was successfully awarded some funding from the UK Shared Prosperity Fund to conduct a site investigation, which will support the future of the port, as the need to diversify grows.
  • We were winners at the British Ports Association Awards Ceremony taking home the Skills Award sponsored by Port Skills and Safety. Earlier in the year both Cameron Hicks, Marine Operations Manager and Emma Maunder, Workboat Apprentice, were also recognised in the Devon and Plymouth Chamber of Commerce ’30 under 30’ accolade.

2024 looks like another exciting year for the Cattewater Harbour Commissioners and Port of Plymouth, trade will remain challenging due to world events, but the port looks forward to the following:

  • A port masterplan and sustainability plan will be going live, supporting diversification in the port, future trades as well as exciting developments in sustainable marine operations as the port and the stakeholders take the next steps on the port’s net zero journey.
  • The Barbican Landing Stage will be extended, providing more berthing options to commercial operators, and visitors to the city.
  • Celebrating our 150th year after being constituted within The Pier and Harbour Orders Confirmation Act, 1874, cited as ‘The Cattewater Harbour Order, 1874’. As part of the anniversary, events will include a dinner at the award-winning The Box, as well as a celebratory cruise onboard the famous paddle steamer the Waverley which will be making a special visit to the city.