Monday, January 21, 2013

Another Container Port Develops With Logistics and Multimodal Freight Park Planned

Forth Look to Partnership with Developer to Establish Tilbury Investment
Shipping News Feature

UK - In a move which can either be viewed as a challenge to, or more likely a benefit from, the huge London Gateway container port being developed literally just down the road at Stanford le Hope by DP World, Forth Ports announced recently that it has teamed up with Roxhill Developments to undertake a new joint venture to develop the London Distribution Park (LDP) at the Port of Tilbury. Roxhill, the specialist industrial development company, has purchased a 50% share in the development scheme from Forth Ports, and the two companies will work closely together in the delivery of the logistics park to encourage shipping groups and others in the freight supply chain to take up residence in the area.

London Distribution Park is a 70 acre development scheme just outside the Port of Tilbury gates, less than 7 miles dual carriageway from the M25. The Park has outline planning permission for up to 940,000 square feet of B1 (business), B2 (general industrial) and B8 (storage and distribution) employment space. Construction work starts on the scheme infrastructure early 2013, allowing buildings to be commenced immediately on either a pre-let or pre-sale turnkey basis, with occupation possible by the end of that year. It is anticipated that the finished development will create approximately 1,100 jobs. Jason Dalby, Managing Director at Roxhill Developments, said:

“We are very pleased to be working with Forth Ports to bring forward the delivery of this scheme. London Distribution Park is a key logistics scheme for the south east of England. The location will appeal to occupiers who require sizeable buildings in an M25 location, whilst the multimodal opportunities at the neighbouring port can provide significant benefits to companies needing those facilities.”

LDP offers a prominent strategic location for retailers and logistic occupiers to access the key South East UK market. The proximity of the port, which is currently home to the UK’s third largest container terminal, limits the need for secondary inland warehousing and can result in reducing carbon emissions. The scheme will benefit from the exclusive multimodal connectivity, including rail, port and barge services, which the port offers.

This joint venture is Forth Port’s next phase in driving the expansion and growth of the Port of Tilbury, following the £120m investment and upgrading of London Container Terminal during 2012 which was purchased a year ago as Tilbury Container Services (TCS) and a cash fillip from the European Commission coffers last year. Charles Hammond, Chief Executive Officer at Forth Ports, commented:

“London Distribution Park is a key development for Forth Ports, and we are delighted to be working with Roxhill. LDP will complement the port’s successful distribution capability, and further develop our port-centric strategy, making the Tilbury port London’s leading distribution hub and securing its long term prosperity.”

Photo: Tilbury Docks circa 1968. Courtesy of the National Maritime Museum. The photograph shows P&O liner 'Iberia' and the Swedish ferry 'Saga' at the Port of Tilbury immediately before investment developed the site into one of the country’s leading container ports.