Tuesday, August 11, 2015

Express Freight Group Stakes a Claim in Deep Water Container Port Logistics Park

Parcel Giant UPS Looks to Thames Side Dock Hinterland as New MSC Box Service Starts
Shipping News Feature

UK – WORLDWIDE – Global express freight giant United Parcel Service (UPS), has submitted plans to develop a massive distribution hub covering around two million square feet at DP World’s London Gateway logistics park. As the plans makes its way through Thurrock Council for approval, this latest grab by London Gateway signals what is shaping up to be a very successful year so far, with John Good and Pentalver both recently deciding to work within the deep water Thames container port. The UPS plans have been granted fast-track planning permission with a determination deadline set for September 28. Despite the public record a spokesman for London Gateway would not confirm or deny anything, saying:

“Our policy is not to discuss these matters, as any business negotiations involve confidentiality agreements that would prohibit any comment.”

The plans however for the proposed development are now of course in the public domain and, if given approval, the UPS London Hub Parcel Distribution Facility, as it is supposedly to be known, will be built on plot 1020 which measures approximately 500 metres wide by 370 metres long with a total area of about 188,000 m2. The plans include 30,200 square metres of warehousing space, 3,500 square metres of office space, and 3,300 square metres of vehicle servicing and repair facilities.

Meanwhile London Gateway is celebrating the inauguration of Mediterranean Shipping Company’s (MSC) S.A. Australia Express service which launched its new rotation with the first arrival at the Thames side port this week. The service will now provide direct calls between DP World London Gateway Port, King Abdullah port in Saudi Arabia, Colombo in Sri Lanka and ports around the Australian coast. It will be the fastest direct service between Northern Europe and Australia in the market. The new rotation is as follows:

London Gateway (UK) – Antwerp (Belgium) – Le Havre – Fos-Sur-Mer (France) – La Spezia – Naples – Gioia Tauro (Italy) – Port Louis (Mauritius) – Pointe des Galets (Réunion) – Sydney – Melbourne – Adelaide – Fremantle (Australia) – Colombo (Sri Lanka) – King Abdullah (Saudi Arabia) – Valencia (Spain) – London Gateway.

The MSC Roberta made her first stop at DP World London Gateway Port on Friday, August 7, marking the commencement of the weekly service. Kelvin Wilden, Operations Director, MSC UK, said:

“We are pleased to announce improvements to the Australia Express service in response to customer needs. The Australia Express will now provide direct calls between DP World London Gateway Port and Australia, offering the fastest direct service in the market connecting Oceania with the UK and North West Continent. This service improvement will complement our competitive transit times to all other global destinations, using MSC’s vast transhipment network of services.

“We already have a good working relationship with the DP World London Gateway team and this new service further enhances the extensive choice of ports that we offer to both our import and export customers.”

The port seems to be making the steady progress that its backers intended using the combination of deep water facilities, modern handling equipment and good transport links. The big advantage Gateway has over its competitors is however the fact that it has been designed from the ground up as a fast turnaround container port with the option of using virgin bespoke distribution facilities mere yards from the quays themselves. His Excellency Sultan Ahmed Bin Sulayem, Chairman, DP World, said:

“We are delighted to have secured a call on the MSC Australia Express Service. This service offers some of the most competitive transits to the UK, not only from Australia but also from Colombo in Sri Lanka. MSC are already operating the South Africa service into DP World London Gateway Port, so it is testament to the good work being done here, that MSC is willing to add another service into the port.

“This is further evidence of just how compelling the proposition is at DP World London Gateway Port and Logistics Park. With excellent road, rail and sea access just 25 miles from central London, the use of cutting-edge port technology is both streamlining and bringing previously unmatched integrity and reliability to UK supply chains.”