For many centuries salt exports had been a staple feature of the shipping trade, due to the necessity to tranship at Frodsham Quay from the canal flat boats to more seaworthy craft.
Furness iron ore travelled up the river Weaver to the forges at Vale Royal and Acton. With the decline of the various forges. this trade died and was replaced eventually by imports of bulky materials such as coal, lime, bricks and slates. All of this bulk traffic gave Frodsham Quay a new lease of economic activity and the Quay, like Preston Brook, became a thriving canal port.