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Minister marks start of Tilbury distribution centre

[ May 21, 2013   //   ]

 

Minister for Transport Stephen Hammond cut the first sod to mark the construction phase of the Port of Tilbury’s 70-acre London Distribution Park on 21 May.

London Distribution Park (LDP), a joint venture between Tilbury owners, Forth Ports and Roxhill Developments, received outline planning permission in 2012 and will bring more than 940,000 sq. ft. of new high-quality distribution facilities in units of 50,000 sq.ft. Upwards, along with 17 acres of haulage facilities.

At the ceremony, Forth Port’s group chief executive Charles Hammond (no relation) described the development as “an excellent asset for our national and international customers who can take advantage of the port’s excellent facilities in logistics and distribution.”

The Port of Tilbury was, he said, “a dynamic and diverse port handling the full range of cargoes with specialist expertise in the handling of paper and forest products, containers and ro ro, grain and bulk commodities and construction and building materials with an annual throughput of over 16million tonnes. This new development marks another major step in the Port’s ambitious growth plan and will bring over a thousand jobs to the local area.”

The minister added: “Building a logistics park next to the port with its good rail links the Port of Tilbury will help reduce the number of miles goods travel by road to reach their final destination and so help reduce the effects of road transport on the environment, congestion and pollution.”

Roxhill’s managing director, Jason Dalby, said the development company had “speculatively invested £5m in site infrastructure. The port is a significant distribution centre and is well positioned to access the M25 orbital motorway and the rest of the UK’s national motorway network.”

LDP is the next phase of Tilbury’s continuing growth and expansion and follows a £95million investment in the London Container Terminal in 2012. The new development is on the immediate outskirts of the port.

Speaking to FBJ, Forth Ports’ chief operating officer, Perry Glading revealed that Tilbury would shortly start regular WEC Line container sailings from West Africa, adding to its existing West African portfolio which includes Delmas, Grimaldi and DAL. Business from the oil rich region was brisk he said. The new WEC service is expected to operate weekly, he added.

The new LDP park would come into operation in the next 3-5 years he said, “or maybe a bit quicker” he added. Business at Tilbury was growing again and the coming London Gateway development a few miles down the road did not pose a threat, he said. The two ports were complementary, he believed. Tilbury is one of the UK’s most diverse ports handling ro ro, bulks and breakbulk, as well as containers, he pointed out.

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