The capital of Wales is home to the port of Cardiff. Situated on the North side of the Severn estuary in Cardiff bay, the port deals with a high volume of cargo. In 2010 Cardiff handled 2.2 million tonnes of cargo traffic, with a high volume of containers, along with steel, and dry and liquid bulks.
This amount of cargo is imported and exported all over the world, to many international destinations. Coming inland from the port for container transit around the UK, cargo finds itself travelling the arterial route of the A48, but at only 7 miles to the M4 motorway, is soon joining the excellent UK motorway network. Transportation on the M4 will take cargo towards the West coast of Wales, passing by Bridgend (24 miles), Port Talbot (35 miles), and ultimately Swansea (43 miles). Taking cargo in the opposite direction along the M4 motorway will take it to another major Welsh shipping port in Newport (15 miles). From there on in it’s a short journey into England via the Severn crossing. Once the cargo is in England the M4 connects with the M5 motorway, giving access to the rest of the UK. Continuing on the M4 will take any goods to Swindon (72 miles) and Reading (111 miles). Travelling through Berkshire cargo will be destined for London Heathrow Airport (136 miles) and thereafter the M25 London orbital motorway.
After crossing the border into England and leaving the M4 motorway to join the M5 opens up cargo transportation to the midlands to the North, and Devon and beyond to the South. Transporting North, Birmingham (107 miles) would be the first major destination, where options become endless with the myriad of Motorway connections. Transporting south takes cargo into the heart of Devon, and ultimately Exeter (109 miles) and the South West coast.
Industry has long played a major role in the wealth and development of Cardiff, the main catalyst being the huge demand for coal over the centuries. Due to the demand for coal around the world, at its peak Cardiff port became the busiest in the world, and for many years it was the worlds most important coal port. In the years leading up to the First World War, the phenomenal amount of 10 million tonnes of coal was exported annually from Cardiff. Although the demand for coal isn’t anything like it has been in pastimes, Cardiff is once again a thriving container and bulk cargo port.