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Our history

The building of London’s Royal Docks introduced a new world of commerce to the capital.

The docks drew produce and people from all over the world; they survived the bombings of World War II but the final challenge was the creation of containerised cargo.

This far more efficient method of moving goods required much larger ships that could not navigate down as far as the Royal Docks. Gradually the Royal Docks business fell into decline. Despite the difficulties, they survived longer than any other upstream docks finally closing to commercial traffic in 1981.

ExCeL London has been at the forefront of the regeneration. Sitting proudly by Royal Victoria Dock, ExCeL is bringing trade and industry to the docks, generating over £2.3 billion of economic impact for the British economy. See the story of how Royal Victoria Dock has emerged to become a hive of industry and activity once again.