Southampton is one of the UK’s busiest and most important ports, and a principal driver in the regional economy. It handles in excess of 42 million tonnes of cargo annually – or around seven per cent of the UK’s entire seaborne trade – and is the main gateway for Far East imports. Its natural deep-water harbour, unique double tide and sophisticated Vessel Traffic Services (VTS) allow the port to welcome the world’s largest vessels, from deep-sea container ships to cruise giants. Equipped to handle any type of cargo, Southampton is a leading car-handling port, home to the UK’s second largest container terminal and the sole UK port for all Canary Islands fresh-produce imports. The port is also widely recognised as the capital of the country’s cruise industry, and each year more and more cruise liners take advantage of Southampton’s superb cruise terminals.