Port of Tilbury to become 'Free Port'

Published: 11 August 2020

Port of Tilbury to become 'Free Port'

As part of a new venture between the Port of Tilbury and London Gateway - there could be tens of thousands of new jobs could be on offer. With the hope on ensuring a post-Covid economic boom, beneficial to parties involved across the board.

The bid for further development in career opportunities could mean south Essex has the opportunity of becoming the port capital of the UK. With additional consideration to the Tilbury2 terminal. While active, further developments are set to take place on the site.

The introduction of a "free zone", meaning it would mean the area would be considered outside of the country border for the sake of customs purposes. Free ports face less import tariffs and appeals to many businesses on a global scale - cutting costs for shipping and haulage. 

Once the site is fully built out estimations say there will be around 36,000 more jobs available through London Gateway alone. Charles Hammond, Chief Executive at Forth Ports spoke on the matter:

"I am looking forward to working with the team at London Gateway on this submission for freeport status. Thurrock is at the heart of the port industry in the South East and the development hub of the Thames estuary."

He continued:  "This joint bid brings together our complementary strengths which will create a strong, export-focused case for a freeport designation. Our appointment of Vivid Economics clearly demonstrates our commitment to creating a compelling submission later this year.

Like London Gateway, at Tilbury we have a robust network of international connections, streamlined customs systems and developable land close to key markets.

He concluded: "In May this year, we opened the UK’s largest unaccompanied freight ferry terminal at Tilbury2, further strengthening our location to support existing and new business opportunities."

DP World UK CEO, Ernst Schulze also said: “We believe a freeport on the Thames will ensure that the UK continues to be an attractive destination for inward investment, and that bringing London Gateway within a freeport will help lower the total cost of trade to the benefit of UK industry and retailers and ensure resilience in the overall supply chain."

Continuing: "Working with Forth Ports will enable us to create the most sustainable, strategically located, trade enabling centre of excellence in the UK, whilst allowing us to support the development of local industry and create high skilled employment for the local area”

Vivid Economics Head of Cities, James Patterson-Waterston shared his views: “We are excited to apply our knowledge from working in trade and investment across the world to further develop a dynamic and globally competitive freeport in the inner Thames Estuary.

"Given the substantial trade passing through Thurrock ports currently, this area is clearly a strong candidate for the new wave of ambitious and strategic freeports in the UK. We look forward to working with Forth Ports and DP World to develop a compelling case for freeport designation.” he concluded.

For hauliers, owner drivers, operators and warehouse workers - there'll be more opportunities available than ever through the Port of Tilbury once the most recent plans go ahead.

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