Trade through the Port of London reached 53.2 million tonnes last year, a level last seen over a decade ago.
This was following strong growth in containerised cargoes, particularly at the newest container terminal on the river, DP World London Gateway, which attracted a number of new services.
Port bosses say that longterm growth in the port will be secured through further development at Gateway and investment in major new projects – Forth Ports last month gained development consent for its new £200 million port terminal, Tilbury2. P&O Ferries is the principal customer for the new ro-ro facility, while the remaining site will be dedicated to the country’s largest construction processing hub.
“Trade last year was up almost ten percent last year,” said PLA chief executive, Robin Mortimer. “This is testament to the continued substantial investment underway at terminals along the river.
“Traditionally terminals on the Thames have been the route for supplying the country’s major centre of population with life’s essentials: food, fuel and much more. This has never been truer than today and is at the heart of growth forecasts trade in the Thames Vision, which see forecast cargoes on the river rising to as much as 80 million tonnes by 2035.”
Container trades led the growth last year, up by 3.4 million tonnes, topping 20 million tonnes for the first time. This reflected increased throughput at DP World London Gateway, with volume up 35 per cent, which was in part down to the port winning scheduled services from Asia and the Mediterranean. Unitised cargo throughputs also increased at the Port of Tilbury and Cobelfret.
Oil products and gases rose by 500,000 tonnes to 14.1 million tonnes as new and upgraded facilities came on stream, including at OIKOS on Canvey Island. OIKOS’s £65 million investment in the third phase of a major construction and development programme at its bulk liquid storage terminal on Canvey Island includes the construction of an additional 12 storage tanks, a new jetty and new road loading racks.