The Port of Tilbury has unveiled its plans to reinvigorate its rail offering at the latest Rail Freight Group conference hosted at Orsett Hall, Thurrock, on Wednesday 28th June. With three rail terminals in the port and the Essex Thameside rail corridor already accounting for approximately 10% of the UK's rail freight traffic, the port showcased the three pillars to its strategy to revitalise its rail freight offering to an industry audience of 80 delegates.
In a presentation on behalf of the Forth Ports Group by Ross McKissock, Asset Manager, for the London Container Terminal, Tilbury projected a major uplift in their freight traffic in bulk and intermodal movements. With commercial partners, the port is seeking to:
- introduce regular intermodal services to the Midlands and Scotland
- create a dedicated bulk terminal, and
- establish a rail connection into a new 152-acre deep-water port terminal, Tilbury2
"As part of our sustainable and multimodal approach, Tilbury is making the most of its assets and seeking to build afresh to ensure that our customers and tenants think rail, river and road when seeking the most effective delivery solution," commented Peter Ward, Commercial Director, Port of Tilbury
"We are underway with a major overhaul of our rail offering. This year, the port took possession of the Freightliner operated rail terminal and we have reconfigured the site to create a first for Tilbury, a dedicated bulk materials rail terminal. Initially, the port will be establishing regular movements of recycling glass to Cheshire and other UK locations. In time, we hope to grow the port’s rail freight offering across a range of bulk materials, with associated growth in rail movements.”
Lord Berkeley OBE, Chairman of the Rail Freight Group, said:
"Multimodal rail freight continues to be a big success story, and Port of Tilbury’s developments and future plans are a growing part of that, with the launch of new intermodal services and the lodging of an application for a development consent order with the Planning Inspectorate to permit a new rail connected port terminal, Tilbury2. Our members look forward to supporting the team's efforts in the months and years ahead to continue this success story."
Separately, the port welcomed the Minister of State for Transport, Rt Hon John Hayes CBE MP, to the port to hear about the £1billion investment programme which includes two major extensions to the port estate – London Distribution Park and Tilbury2 – to accommodate substantial business growth.
The port has doubled in volume size in the past ten years and is projected to double the business across the quay and triple the direct employment over the next 10-15 years.
The Minister was briefed on the port’s £1bn investment programme, 2012-19, which includes the creation of a new 152-acre deep-water port terminal, Tilbury2 - currently in the statutory consultation process - adjacent to the current port. He was also updated on the progress of the construction of the UK’s largest warehouse at London Distribution Park for Amazon UK, which is due to open in the autumn of this year.
These two major projects, coupled with opening of Europe’s largest chill store at the port in partnership with NFT and the completion this year of Tilbury Green Power, the 40MW energy-from-waste power facility, will contribute to the rapid growth of the port to satisfy robust demand from the South East and Greater London. The Minister also heard about Tilbury's wide ranging portfolio of customer and tenant activity, and strengthening position as the number one UK port for forestry products, construction materials, paper, grain, recyclables and warehousing space.
Commenting on the visit, Charles Hammond, Group Chief Executive, said:
"We were pleased to welcome the Minister to Tilbury today and it was a pleasure to brief him on the substantial growth of London’s major port. Tilbury sits at the heart of the largest consumer market in Europe. Our continued success is reflected in our ambitious growth plans through our Tilbury2 proposals and the London Distribution Park - both of which will generate further local jobs and significant national economic benefit.”
Transport Minister John Hayes said:
“I was delighted to visit the Port of Tilbury and see for myself the enormous benefits of the port’s major investment programme. Ports like Tilbury are vital for the long term growth of our economy as the Government continues to build a global trading nation post-Brexit. This will continue to be a key priority in 2017, and I look forward to September’s London International Shipping Week, where we’ll proudly display the UK’s proud history as a powerhouse of marine industries.”
The 70-acre London Distribution Park will be fully operational by quarter 3 2017, while 152-acre Tilbury2 terminal is projected to be fully operational by quarter 1 2020.