DP World, Dubai-based international marine services provider, has opened its new deep-sea port, DP World London Gateway, for business in Britain with the arrival of the first scheduled vessel, the MOL Caledon, from South Africa.
The new port will provide British exporters and importers with a more efficient way to ship globally and also lower transport costs by reducing millions of trucking miles from supply chains.
The port has shipping lines that can handle huge ships, known as ultra large container ships (ULCS), which are up to 400m long and can carry more than 18,000 containers.
DP World chairman Sultan Ahmed Bin Sulayem said the company is pleased to be able to contribute to the UK economy by building and operating the modern infrastructure port that will "support trade growth far into the future".
"This is the first port to be built in the UK in a generation and so there is nothing else like this in the country. From today, shipping lines can now bring the world’s largest ships closer to key UK markets and reduce the costs of transportation," Bin Sulayem added.
Highlighting the importance of the logistics park adjacent to the port, DP World vice chairman Jamal Majid Bin Thaniah said the park is Europe’s largest and will save companies hundreds of millions of pounds every year from business costs by removing a whole step in UK supply chains.
"Goods will move through the port and straight into the logistics park, then straight to shops and homes, rather than being sent first to inland warehouses," Bin Thaniah added.
The MOL Caledon that arrived from South Africa is part of the South African Europe Container Service (SAECS), which is made up of a consortium of shipping lines including MOL Liner, Maersk, DAL and Safmarine.
MOL Liner chairman Junichiro Ikeda said they believe that the new port, through its modern facilities and convenient links to the business community, will provide them the perfect platform to continue the efficient and reliable services MOL is committed to offering its UK customers.
"The conditions at London Gateway, like draft and tides also gives us the opportunity to grow further through the introduction of bigger ships and a further expansion of our network. It’s a promising new port for a great country," Ikeda added.