London Gateway port development – to open in 2013 – a few miles west of Southend

Opening in the fourth quarter of 2013, London Gateway is set to become the premier UK logistics centre. When fully developed London Gateway port will handle 3.5 million TEU  (twenty-foot equivalent container units) annually and the adjacent logistics park will be the largest in Europe.  It is about 4 miles south of Basildon and about 7 miles west of Southend on Sea. DP World is a company based in Dubai.  There is likely to be a connection between Stobart buying Southend airport, and the new mega-port close by.


 Map slowing location of London Gateway

about 4 miles south of Basildon and about 7 miles west of Southend on Sea.

DP World website is at



London Gateway to build new rail terminal for longest trains in UK

London Gateway is set to become the premier UK logistics centre

    • 29.4.2012 (Gulf

Dubai: DP World London Gateway has awarded Balfour Beatty Civil Engineering a contract to build a rail terminal capable of handling the longest trains in the UK, the company said in a statement.

Balfour Beatty Civil Engineering is to develop the first of three rail terminals and double track the branch line to the port, which will allow London Gateway to accommodate trains up to 34 wagons long.

“The rail terminal will be served directly from the fully automated yard where dedicated landside equipment will operate 24 hours per day, 7 days per week ….

London Gateway is within close proximity to the East Coast   [well, not that close   – see map  ]and West Coast Main Lines [ not that close either  – see map  ] that serve the UK’s major cargo destinations including Manchester, Leeds, Glasgow, Birmingham and Liverpool.

“With 33% of all container traffic expected to leave London Gateway by rail, we are committed to having the right infrastructure and operational processes in place from day one.”

and it continues …….



From Wikipedia

London Gateway is a major new development under construction on the north bank of the River Thames in Thurrock, Essex.  It comprises a large new deep-water port, which will be able to handle the biggest container ships in the world, as well as one of Europe’s largest logistics parks, providing effective access (by road and railways) to London and the rest of Great Britain. The complex will involve world-leading technology to increase productivity and reduce costs for shipping lines and the logistics industries.

The development will dramatically increase the capabilities of the Port of London in handling modern container shipping and help meet the growing demand for container handling at Britain’s ports.

The project is being undertaken by the owners, DP World, one of the largest marine terminal operators in the world. Construction began in the first quarter of 2010 and is expected to take several years, with the port and logistics park completed in stages. The first stage of construction is underway, in the form of a £400 million dredging and reclamation programme, led by a joint venture between contractors Laing O’Rourke and Dredging International.

London Gateway is located on the former Shell Haven site in Thurrock, Essex. The 1,500-acre (6.1 km2) site is a former oil refinery, which closed in 1999. However, the site has been used as a port since the 16th century.

DP World received Government approval in May 2007 for the development of London Gateway. The proposals were also identified by Gordon Brown as one of the four economic hubs essential for the regeneration of the Thames Gateway.

In May 2008, the Department for Transport issued a “Harbour Empowerment Order” for London Gateway, which provided official and statutory powers for the new port and established London Gateway as a legally recognised authority.

The future of the project was less certain after Moody’s downgraded DP World’s financial status to ‘junk’ in December 2009 in relation to the Financial crisis of 2007–2010 and associated financial problems for DP World’s owners Dubai World.   In January 2010, DP World announced its intention to seek a share listing on the London Stock Exchange in the second quarter of 2010 and was also given the go-ahead for construction of the port. Work started in February 2010.   Dredging in the Thames started in March 2010.

Construction of London Gateway under way, 2010.

London Gateway port will include a 2,700-metre-long container quay, with a fully developed capacity of 3.5 million TEU (twenty foot equivalent  unit) a year. The port will be located on the major shipping lanes serving north west Europe and will increase national deep-sea port capacity for the UK, as identified as necessary by the government.

At present, the ports of Felixstowe and Southampton are the first- and second-largest ports by container traffic in the UK, with the Port of London third.

DP World has stated that high-quality architecture, sustainability, and high levels of security and management will be key features of the park and will create an attractive environment for occupiers.

The distribution park at London Gateway will cover a development area of 300 hectares (700 acres).  It will accommodate buildings in excess of one million sq ft, and offer linkages to local road and rail networks with access across the UK, including London. Outline planning permission has been granted for a total of 9,500,000 sq ft (880,000 m2).

Junction 30 of the M25 motorway and some existing junctions on the A13 roads could be upgraded subject to funding and a rail connection to the port will be made to the London, Tilbury and Southend Railway line via an existing freight line.

DP World is planning to invest over £1.5bn to develop the project over a 10-15 year development period. It predicts that London Gateway will deliver about 12,000 new direct jobs, benefit the local and regional economy, and assist the government’s Thames Gateway regeneration initiative. In addition, there will be some indirect and induced jobs.

Thames Gateway

The Thames Gateway is an area of land stretching 70 kilometres (43 mi) east from inner east London on both sides of the River Thames and the Thames Estuary.  The area, which includes much brownfield land, has been designated a national priority for urban regeneration, taking advantage of the development opportunities realised by the completion of the High Speed 1 (officially known as the Channel Tunnel Rail Link) rail line. It stretches from Westferry in Tower Hamlets to the Isle of Sheppey and extends across three of the regions of England. The development is delivered through regional development agencies, special purpose development corporations and local partnerships.


The London Gateway port is a project within this.



Overview of London Gateway

London Gateway will be the UK’s first 21st Century major deep-sea container port and Europe’s largest logistics park.

Situated on the north bank of the River Thames, London Gateway provides unrivalled deep-sea shipping access for the world’s leading businesses to the largest consumer markets in the UK.

The port’s location, with its superior operational systems and service, ensure ships load and unload as fast as possible, making London Gateway a world class asset for the UK.

The port will be the most efficient in the country, adding an additional 3.5million TEU (standard twenty foot equivalent cargo units (containers) to the nation’s port capacity. This will help meet recognised demand for extra capacity in the UK.

In addition to a major deep sea port, London Gateway will integrate with Europe’s largest logistics park and will offer individual units up to and in excess of one million square feet.

In doing so, London Gateway will offer global brands the opportunity to move away from conventional distribution methods. The location of the port will ensure trade does not have to travel far, which means less road miles, costs and vehicle emissions. This concept of integration is known as PortCentric logistics.

Panorama Thumbnail
London Gateway site is shown above.


Stobart buys into Thames Gateway with airport acquisition

From 2010
8th Apr 2010
Cumbrian haulage group Stobart has bought Southend Airport from Regional Airports for £16m, with a further £5m to be paid depending on aspects of the airport’s development.
The deal has been partly paid for by a share placing of 15.7 million ordinary shares at 73 pence each, raising £11.5m.
The airport is part of the Thames Gateway development zone, which includes the new DP World London Gateway Port, due to open in 2013.  Stobart plans to grow both freight and passenger flights from Southend.
The airport, which in the year to 31 March 2008, had a total income of £6.9m and an operating profit of £800,000, is less than an hour’s train journey from London Liverpool Street and 42 minutes from Stratford, the site of the 2012 Olympics. Chief executive Andrew Tinkler said: “This is a major opportunity to advance our multimodal strategy. At one stroke, we have found our southern base and greatly enhanced our position as a point-to-point service provider for customers in the UK and Europe.”




Is port link real reason for buying our airport?

Letter in the local Echo  May 2009

8th May 2009

For those who are persuaded that Eddie Stobart has purchased Southend Airport for a passenger-driven revival of this facility, the statement made by the company’s chief executive Andrew Tinkler, speaking in October, 2008, is, to say the least, alarmingly revealing.

He said the firm is evaluating the possibility of replicating its Widnes 3MG (Mersey Multi-Modal Gateway) distribution complex at the new London Gateway container port at Shellhaven.

Once finished, the site will be one of the UK’s largest container ports, with Europe’s largest distribution park alongside.

Tinkler says Stobart is “keen to get involved” with the project. He adds: “It’s a great opportunity and it will take a lot of waste out (of the supply chain) and we want to be part of that.”

Stobart would look to take a sizeable part of the 10 million square feet of warehousing being developed at Shellhaven and would also look to open its own depot in the South- East.

He describes the 3MG site – a road, rail and container interchange, plus a massive warehousing development – as a “good starting place” and “a blueprint”

for what the firm wants to achieve.

Therefore the evidential link connecting the purchase of Southend Airport to almost certainly being a Stobart airfreight hub to serve the new London Gateway Port is practically undeniable.

This is further underlined by the absence of evidence in the media that Stobart is taking steps to re-invent itself as a passenger airport operator.

It is terrifying to wonder what private assurances Southend and Rochford Councils have given Stobart, especially on airfreight operations, for them to part with £16m-£20m before the conclusions of a supposedly uncertain public consultation process has been concluded.

G D Markwell