1909 – 2009

The organisation that oversees the safety of operations on Britain’s busiest inland waterway and second biggest international port is celebrating its 100th birthday this year. The Port of London Authority (PLA) has managed the movement of vessels on the tidal Thames from Teddington to the mouth of the Thames Estuary since 1909.

During that time shipping has undergone a revolution. Trade patterns have transformed as globalisation took hold, technology for handling cargoes changed and, as a result, activity on the river changed dramatically. Yet, the amount of world cargo that arrives or departs through the Thames has almost tripled since the PLA’s early days (from around 18 million tonnes to nearly 53 million tonnes).

For more information on the PLA’s centenary and programme of celebratory events, visit the special section on the Port of London Authority’s website