Ultimately, it handled produce from 140 dairies spread across the whole of Jutland.
After the Second World War, the town developed several agricultural industries, especially meat processing and packaging with a plant employing over 300.
The slaughterhouse and meat packaging facility, Esbjerg Andels-Slagteri, established in 1887, became Denmark's sixth largest by 1962.
It later became part of Vestjyske Slagterier in 1986, and in 2001, it was acquired by Danish Crown.
Over the years, many of the city's visitors have arrived by ferry from Harwich, Essex, England, but this service closed in September 2014 having run since 1875.