The owners of Southampton docks are set to double the container port's capacity by 2010, creating hundreds of new jobs.
ABP will use technology to increase efficiency
Associated British Ports (ABP) intends to use modern technology to make the most of existing dockland and increase efficiency.
The strategy has been developed since the government blocked plans for a £600m super-port at Dibden Bay, near the New Forest in Hampshire.
ABP chief executive Bo Lerenius said the firm had learned from the decision.
"We believe our current strategy for Southampton represents one of the most sustainable container expansion plans currently being considered in the UK," he said.
Doug Morrison, ABP Southampton port director, said: "Southampton has some wonderful assets, including its central south coast location and its ability to handle the largest container ships afloat.
"It is also perfectly placed for the onward delivery of goods - from ship to shelf."