INVESTMENTS AND DEVELOPMENTS
From the development of Tilbury2 to the opening of Peruvian Wharf, operators along the tidal Thames are investing and expanding.
Around 50 million tonnes of cargo is handled on the Thames annually. That’s a figure expected to rise dramatically, as terminal and wharf operators along the tidal Thames continue to invest in new and improved facilities and equipment, and new shipping services are launched.
The PLA's Thames Vision has gathered momentum and continues to raise the profile of the river as a transport route, destination and attraction in its own right.
Some visions are launched with a fanfare and quickly fade out of sight. But the Thames Vision was launched with conviction, has gained momentum, and is now seeing action and delivery follow.
Freight by water... the message of Peruvian Wharf.
Construction and building materials group Brett Aggregates will open its new state-of-the-art concrete plant at Peruvian Wharf in 2018. In the mix of 70 different terminals and wharves along the River Thames, that might not seem such a big deal for the casual observer – and yet, it represents a huge milestone for the Port of London.
THAMES SKILLS ACADEMY
The TSA has brought together marine employers on the River Thames, to promote training and careers on the UK’s busiest inland waterway.
Pushing forward the importance of the River Thames for freight and passengers is one thing. Ensuring there is a marine workforce with the right skills to match and support that growth is the next. And there are other challenges – how to establish exactly what skills and training are required for handling and operating the tugs, barges and other vessels on the UK’s busiest inland waterway, and the big question: “Where are our future generations of river practitioners coming from?”
The PLA team takes a proactive approach, whether it’s supporting a film crew or working to minimise disruption from major works on the river.
From the dramatic to the downright daft – and everything in between. The iconic backdrop of the River Thames is in demand, for films, stunts, projects, and promotions, and nothing surprises the team overseeing the ‘middle’ district of the tidal Thames.
The Red Tape Challenge, a wholesale review of rules and regulations, is just one example of the way in which the PLA focuses on safety and efficiency.
If there’s something we can all agree on, it’s probably this: the pace of life isn’t getting any slower. Business requires quick and nimble decision-making; customers expect a rapid response; innovation is driving everyone to challenge the norm and embrace new ways of working.
The PLA has published the first ever Air Quality Strategy for a UK port, seeking to reduce emissions but also enable the growth of the port and city.
The PLA made headlines in 2017 by becoming the first UK port to offer a ‘Green Tariff’ to encourage and support ship owners that are committed to improving their environmental performance.
London was the first port in the UK to offer this kind of discount on port charges for vessels with lower emissions, and the response has been overwhelmingly positive.
The PLA's new Asset Management process will allow the tracking and cost-effective maintenance of its assets.
A successful, thriving Port of London relies on its backstage support – and that includes civil and marine engineering, radar and communication services, diving, salvage, mooring maintenance, hydrographic surveys, underwater inspections, wharf services, boat lifting, load-out services, storage, driftwood and rubbish clearance, maintenance of aids to navigation and pollution response.
The expertise of the hydrographic team has led to the UKHO decision to incorporate the PLA’s electronic charts directly without redrawing.
The expertise of the Port of London Authority’s hydrographic team reaches amazing depths – and heights. And that expertise is critical to shipping. How else would vessels have the confidence to make their way to and from their berths in the River Thames without worrying that they might hit unexpected obstructions, shifting sandbanks, a build-up of sediment or even a piece of unexploded ordnance on the river bed?
PORT OF TILBURY
Tilbury2 will deliver much-needed additional capacity, acting as a satellite of the of the present port.
The Port of Tilbury is already recognised as one of the most multipurpose, flexible, dynamic, successful ports in the UK. And there is more – much more – to come.
Towards the end of 2017, the port formally submitted its application to the Planning Inspectorate for a development consent order (DCO) to build a new terminal next door. Tilbury2 is to be built on a 152-acre site which was part of the former Tilbury Power Station, and the opportunities are vast.
DP WORLD LONDON GATEWAY
DP World London Gateway has opened Berth 3 and welcomed the global container shipping consortium THE Alliance.
DP World London Gateway has gone from strength to strength since opening for business in 2013 – and 2017 was another major turning point for the UK’s newest deepwater container port.
The port’s third berth was completed and opened, and the year also saw a series of investment announcements by DP World and its partners. DP World London Gateway Port also announced that it had achieved a 28% reduction in its carbon emissions. However, the biggest headlines came in March, when it was revealed that the global container shipping consortium THE Alliance would concentrate all of its mainline UK calls at DP World’s facilities, including London Gateway and Southampton.