Ports & Harbours

Every year, 65 million passengers, and 500 million tonnes of cargo – 95 per cent of the UK’s total imports and exports – move through UK ports. Quite simply, British ports keep the economy moving.

As an island nation, the UK requires everything from deep-water container ports to small harbours. Ports support the needs of oil and gas tankers, ro-ro, liquid and dry bulk, ferry and cruise companies, and every kind of commercial, military and leisure use of the sea imaginable.

This variety of port facilities provides opportunities for every possible port-based career. Ports form an essential part of the UK logistics chain, which means – as well as marine disciplines – there are opportunities for maritime professionals in port operations, engineering, warehousing, transport, planning, safety, security, and a host of other business areas. In recent years, new national occupational standards, apprenticeships and qualifications have been developed to support the wide range of sophisticated, modern services offered by UK ports. Many of these schemes recognise and incorporate marine qualifications and experience.

Many countries and international companies look to tap into the experience of the UK’s strong port sector, while major ports elsewhere in the world – especially in emerging markets – use British expertise.

More information

Ports Skills and Safety has information on port and harbour careers available. 

Port Skills and Safety

The British Ports Association has information on jobs available with its members.

British Ports Association

The UK major ports have dedicated careers sections of their webites.

UK major ports careers