Construction has begun at the London Gateway port site, which when completed will be Europe’s largest combined deep-sea port and logistics park. DP World, one of the largest marine terminal operators in the world, is behind the £1.5 billion development.
Situated on the north bank of the River Thames near Thurrock in Essex, the 1,500-acre site is the same size as two Cities of London. It will give deep-sea shipping access and help to transform the movement of freight around the UK, reducing road haulage and cutting CO2 emissions.
According to UK Prime Minister Gordon Brown, “The London Gateway is a significant foreign investment into the UK. It will help bring the largest deep-sea vessels here and improve the efficiency of the UK’s freight distribution, creating thousands of jobs, future growth and economic prosperity.”
According to an independent survey commissioned by DP World, the development will generate 36,000 jobs in total, including 12,000 jobs in logistics and construction that will be created in the short term.
When completed, the London Gateway will link road, rail and sea. DP World estimates it will save over 60 million truck miles per year—equal to about 2,000 truck movements per day on the nation’s roads. This will amount to a reduction of 148,000 tonnes per annum of CO2 emissions. With the London Gateway acting as a hub, containers can be sent via smaller ships to other ports around the UK.
The UK Department for Transport and the Department for Communities and Local Government both contributed to the project.
The London Gateway is one of the main economic drivers for helping the regeneration of a large part of the Thames Gateway, the UK’s largest regeneration area covering a 40-mile stretch across East London, South Essex and North Kent. The combination of the port and logistics park will reduce the need for national road freight haulage, as containers will not need to travel by truck to distribution centers, which are often located many miles from existing UK ports. Instead, shipping containers will be unpacked at distribution buildings integrated into the new port, allowing businesses to cut their CO2 emissions and their supply chain costs.