P&O Ferries have announced they will treble its freight capacity in a £150 million move to a purpose-built river berth on the Thames at the Port of Tilbury.
Dubbed “Tilbury2”, the freight and logistics company say the move will enable them to transport 600,000 units a year by 2020, as well as cutting the seven hour crossing time by one hour. Their decision follows a successful year for the UK company, transporting a record amount of cargo between Zeebrugge and Tilbury.
The company submitted planning application in October for converting the old Tilbury Power Station, which will include a new deep water jetty on the 152 acre site.
Janette Bell, chief executive of P&O Ferries, said: "I am looking forward to working closely with the team at Forth Ports to relocate our operation on the Thames to a state of the art new terminal and river berth. Together with our market leading services across the English Channel, this new facility will enable P&O Ferries to offer customers exporting to or from London and the South East genuine alternatives, whether they choose to move their loads in self-drive vehicles or as unaccompanied freight."
"The river berth will enable us to cut our crossing time by one hour to seven hours, meaning that our customers will be discharged an hour earlier at 5am, enabling them to bypass the morning rush hour on the M25. The punctuality and reliability of the quay to quay service will be further enhanced by no longer having to negotiate a lock to exit the port."
The terminal will be directly linked to the A13 via a new road for easy access, with a specially designed layout enabling custimers to locate their unit quickly, with a 30 minute target of gate to gate turnaround.
Charles Hammond, group chief executive of Forth Ports, added: "As we prepare for the examination of our development consent order for Tilbury2, this new long-term partnership with P&O Ferries provides a strong economic and market underpinning of our intended development plans to grow UK trade and create further employment opportunities within Tilbury.”