WATCH: Mike Pearse reports in the first of our series 'Down the Docks'
It's the biggest port for exports in the UK and the busiest for cruise passengers.
More than two million passengers pass through Southampton Docks every year and its trade is worth tens of billions of pounds.
It's one of the region's biggest employers and this week, we're meeting those who work and travel through the docks.
In the first of our series we talk to a harbour pilot and reflect on the history of this vital port.