Hippolyte SURSOL, founded ''DOCKS MARITIMES - DOCKS SURSOL'' in 1864 on the right bank of the Garonne river in Bordeaux. The company has kept his name ever since.

At the time, goods that arrived by ship in the port of Bordeaux could only be transported to the Gare Orléans and the Gare du Midi train stations by carts or by boat. These modes of transport were expensive, time consuming and caused breakages and waste, and were therefore incompatible with the demands of streamship navigation, which was already  starting to replace sailing ships.

Hippolyte SURSOL came up with a project to put the ships in direct communication with the railways. For this purpose, he bought vaste amounts of land in the Queyries area, with the Orléans railway network no one side and the Garonne on the other - at the point where the river was deepest. He then built jetties which he linked to the Orléans and Midi railway lines. The ships with the highest tonnages berthed at the Dock Sursol, steam-driven cranes took the goods from the hold and placed them on the trains alongside the river, which then transported them to all destinations. Warehouse goods were unloaded in the same way and taken by rail to the nearby storage areas. This brief description should suffice to show that all the necessary conditions were fulfilled to provide a quick, economical service.


His idea was thus highly pratical and offered maritime trade a great many advantages; the example set by the founder of the Docks Sursol brought about many imitators. The land in Queyries, which had been planted with vines, was now covered with factories, building sites and warehouses. The jetties built by Hippolyte SURSOL in 1863 were replaced by much bigger wharves.

With such remarkable results, it must not be forgotten that it was Hippolyte SURSOL who instigated the industrial movement in this part of the port. Trading activities in Bordeaux were to benefit greatly from this initiative.