Tuesday, January 11, 2022

From Polluted Oil Refinery Site to the Largest Logistics Park in Europe as Development Continues

Another Speculative Warehouse to be Constructed in Anticipation of Freeport Success
Shipping News Feature

UK – Having our editorial base in Essex we have watched with interest for over a decade the development of DP World's London Gateway facility from its inception on the drawing board to its current state at the very centre of British ocean freight trade.

We have witnessed the steady growth at the site, initially one of the most polluted sites imaginable after decades of oil refining, from the first cages of specially imported rock dropped into the Thames estuary to create the bund, to the development of the logistics park in the hinterland of the now blossoming deep water container port.

An announcement today would seem to indicate that the success of such facilities in the centre of the heart of England’s south east conurbation are set to continue. With the port teaming up with Forth Port's Port of Tilbury, the PLA and the Ford group to create the recently approved Thames Freeport the Dubai headquartered group is not sitting on its hands to await what comes next.

The group is to fast-track the delivery of a speculative 119,000 square foot green warehouse within the logistics park, the second such speculative warehouse facility in less than a year at London Gateway. The company believes that, with international trade changing fast during the pandemic, a growing number of businesses are taking advantage of the financial incentives which come with being part of a Freeport.

These include zero stamp duty on leases, significant savings on employer national insurance contributions, accelerated capital allowances and a five year business rates holiday. Oliver Treneman, Park Development Director at DP World in the UK, observed:

“We have seen the best year for new business in a decade as demand for premium warehousing space in the South East of England has reached unprecedented levels. We are very confident that LG119 (Plot 4040), the facility we are announcing today, will be of interest to some of the dozens of retail, manufacturing and logistics businesses looking to expand or establish new operations who have contacted us to take advantage of the unique opportunities on offer since our Freeport status was announced.

“At London Gateway, we have the space, infrastructure and vision to support customers as they grow. Our partnership approach, logistics expertise, digital solutions and intermodal connectivity, particularly rail, help us to solve logistical challenges and give our customers more control over their supply chains.”

It is just two months since the OASIS group which provides information management and document storage services, announced it would be leasing a 108,973 square foot unit at the site, also built speculatively. At the size of 400 football pitches, the rapidly expanding port-centric logistics park is the biggest of its kind in Europe and DP World says it will become home to a workforce of around 10,000 within the next seven years.

As with every such project nowadays the environment is high up on the agenda and the new facility, which will be ready for occupation at the end of Q3, aims to be one of the most sustainable warehouses yet built, with a BREEAM ‘Outstanding’ classification, delivering a 30% carbon reduction during construction and 40% reduction in operational carbon emissions.