Monday, September 6, 2021

Freeport Announces Itself to the Logistics Community with a Video

London Commercial Launch This Month
Shipping News Feature

UK – The parties involved in the Thames Freeport project have wasted little time in getting things in place after the government granted permission for it in March. A formal commercial launch is to take place at an event at The Savoy Hotel, London, in the presence of a senior cabinet minister on Wednesday 15th September.

The partners, Forth Ports, DP World, Ford and the Port of London Authority (PLA) have set out their stall with Stuart Wallace, Chief Operating Officer at Forth Ports (owner of the Port of Tilbury and Tilbury2), saying:

“The formal commercial launch of Thames Freeport is a major milestone for our partner organisations who have between them invested over £2.5 billion in port and logistics infrastructure over the past 10 years, with over £3 billion of further investment planned. The UK’s largest freight ferry terminal was completed in record time and opened last year at Tilbury2, demonstrating the partners’ commitment and ability to deliver at pace.”

The group say no location can match Thames Freeport for access to rail, road, river and international maritime routes. Comprising Britain’s most globally connected ports and logistics park and Ford’s world-class engine plant, Thames Freeport, they claim, represents a faster, more cost-effective, and more environmentally responsible way to service domestic and European markets. Martin Everitt, Plant Manager at Ford UK in Dagenham, said:

”We are proud to partner with Thurrock Council, which is consistently ranked in the top 5% of Local Planning Authorities for speed in dealing with applications, and with the London Borough of Barking and Dagenham, where Ford Dagenham is located. Both authorities share our vision for turbo-charging a high-tech industrial base along the Thames Estuary, with new employment opportunities and investment in skills and life-long learning.”

The Thames Freeport partners say they are progressing the business case with the Government, with a view to receiving formal accreditation this year, Robin Mortimer, Chief Executive at the Port of London Authority, commenting:

“Through the Port of London Authority, the tidal Thames connects all Freeport sites to the consumer markets of London and the South East, creating the infrastructure for an innovative and green trading corridor. We are determined to play a leading role in the journey to net zero.”

Despite concerns in many quarters as to how the Freeport system will operate, particularly with a view to avoid criminal activity such as duty fraud, the partners are sure of their ground. Now, in a bid to bring to life the benefits of locating in the new economic zone at the heart of Europe’s biggest consumer market, a new film has been released to promote it.

The film (HERE), produced by Cat and Weasel Films working with director Joshan Esfandiari Martin, cinematically showcases all the elements Thames Freeport offers to allow businesses locating there to take their performance up to the next level, and Alan Shaoul, Chief Financial Officer at DP World in the UK (owner of the port and logistics park at London Gateway), concluded:

“Thames Freeport offers outstanding financial incentives, potentially the equivalent of up to 50% of the cost of the real estate over five years. These include no stamp duty on land purchases, savings on employer national insurance contributions, a five year business rates holiday and generous capital allowances on investment. The flexibility within the Freeport’s customs zone will also help manage non-tariff barriers, supporting businesses trading with the EU and the rest of the world.”