Alleppey or Alappuzha has always been known as an important trading and commercial center of Kerala. Arabs had carried on trade in coir products and pepper from very ancient times. Coir yarn and fibre are the chief commodities exported from this district. Alappuzha is also an important exporting centre of coconut oil, arecanut, cardamom, sugar and pepper,etc.
The major commodities handled at Alappuzha markets are coir, ginger,oil cakes, palmgur, tapioca, etc. Trade is generally carried through inland waterways and by road. Rail movement of goods is done mainly through Chengannur, Mavelikkara and Kayamkulam railway stations and through the stations lying on the Ernakulam – Alleppey rail route. There are several public markets all over the district of which the market at Kayamkulam is the most popular.
The Travancore Chamber of Commerce was established in 1929 at Alappuzha for the promotion and protection of trade, commerce, agriculture and industry. There are several registered associations of manufacturers and merchants in Alappuzha. There are many commercial banks and co-operative societies for financing the traders and industrialists . Alappuzha is an important wholesale and retail trading centre for rice, copra , cocunut oil, pepper, ginger, arecanut, etc.