Tuesday, 11 June 2013

Port of Tilbury Investing Keeps it Competitive in UK Shipping

The United Kingdom, just like most of all the other members of the European Union, has been mired in a serious economic slump since 2008. Although, the UK’s projected GDP growth is expected to remain around 1% for the next couple of years, there are signs of positive economic activity throughout the nation, mostly due to the upgrading and modernizing of their port systems. All presumably in preparation for an expected upswing in the EU economy in the near future which, when it happens, will put the UK in a better competitive position when the global economy picks up more steam as emerging markets continue to grow and create more consumer demand and prosperity.

These days, in London, the new £1.5 billion construction project, the London Gateway, seems to be getting most of the attention as it moves closer to it’s expected completion date at the end of this year. However, there are other regional ports that are also doing their best to modernize their port systems to be in a strong position to capitalise in the future as well. The Port of Tilbury, currently the city’s principal port, is part of the Port of London and has recently just received 14 brand new Kalmar straddle carriers to help make the port more efficient and effective. These new advancements in port technology represent part of the port’s £20 million investment programme, instituted to put the Port of Tilbury in a good competitive position moving forward into the future.

"We have put in place a significant investment plan for the London Container Terminal, which will see the continued upgrading of the site and its equipment as we work to integrate container handling across both the deep sea and short sea operations at Tilbury. The acquisition of these straddle carriers has further secured Tilbury as a key shipping and distribution location with unrivaled access to London and the South East of England,"- Chief Operating Officer of Forth Ports.

The Port of London used to be the largest port in the world and is currently the UK’s second largest behind Grimsby & Immingham in terms of tonnage. That is all expected to change once the London Gateway is completed but it does not mean that there will not be enough business in the future for all of the United Kingdoms’ ports to benefit from. That is, of course, if they are ready for it when it comes their way. These massive port infrastructure investments and upgrades are absolutely necessary, if London and the other strategic regions of the nation want to be in a good position to thrive and drive their economies forward, into the 21st century.

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