Business, Freight News, Logistics, Road, Sea

London Gateway to open in late 2013

[ October 4, 2011   //   ]

The first phase of the new London Gateway port and logistics hub will open in the fourth quarter of 2013, DP World chairman Sultan Ahmed Bin Sulayen told invited guests at the Essex site on 4 October. The initial phase of what could eventually be the UK’s largest transport complex will comprise three container berths capable of taking the world’s largest containerships – 18,000teu – a rail link, container stack and associated logistics park. However, the port will ultimately, in about ten years’ time, consist of a total of seven berths, six of which would be for container vessels.

Initially, London Gateway would have a capacity of 1.6m teu a year, rising to around 3.5m teu on completion.

London Gateway CEO Simon Moore said that London Gateway would offer the UK’s first custom-built global port and distribution centre and would end the practice of London-bound goods being trucked from Felixstowe or the South Coast to distribution centres in the Midlands, only to be then trucked south again to reach the end consumer. The new port could save around 65 million road miles a year, he said.

In an interview with FBJ, Shipping Minister Mike Penning praised DP World’s tenacity in developing London Gateway. “I think at one stage there was a chance that this project would not be going ahead, and it wouldn’t have done if the developers had listened to the doom-mongers. But they and their bankers have put their money there as have shipowners.” He predicted that the new port would stimulate the market for ports capable of handling very large containerships – the port of Felixstowe had a few days previously unveiled its own new berths capable of handling the world’s very largest ships. However, whether other ports would create similar facilities would be for the market to decide, Mr Penning said.

DPW also signed contracts with Cargotec for 40 Kalmar automatic stacking cranes with related technology and 28 Kalmar shuttle carriers, a project valued at around EUR €100-150 million, and with ZPMC contracted to provide the rail-mounted craneage. The highly automated container yard will be able to operate during higher wind speeds than any other comparable facility in the UK, added a port spokesman.