Although construction projects in Britain are notoriously hard to get off the ground, the London Gateway, a £1.5bn super port, is springing out of the sand; on the Thames Estuary.
On a 995-acre site, three times the size of the City of London, DP World is building a quay wall that will extend 2.7km. It will have the ability to accommodate six of the world’s biggest ships, each one around a quarter of a mile long; and carrying up to 18,000 20ft container units.
“With London Gateway we are doing nothing more than going back to our roots … We are getting the biggest ships in the world as close as we can to the biggest point of consumption and giving cargo owners the opportunity to store and warehouse their goods right next to the ships.”- London Gateway chief executive.
With round-the-clock automated operation, there is no need for floodlights. Shipping containers can be moved in the dark. When fully operational, capacity is expected to rise to 3.5m TEU a year, the port will employ 12,000 people, and will be directly linked to a new rail spur; and the A13.