The serene sight of this red giant, outlined against the setting sun at the deepwater port of London Gateway, almost belies the fact that global container shipping is a tough and fast-paced business. With no time to waste, the 138-meter high quay cranes, the tallest in the world, begin unloading and reloading the 9,600-TEU “Cap San Lorenzo.” The motto “Time is money” is more true now than ever before here at London Gateway, which opened in 2013 and has since become an important portal for DB Schenker to the key market of Great Britain.
A lot of money has gone into realizing the mega-project that was authorized in 2007, with the total cost put at £1.5 billion (around 1.9 billion euros or 2.1 billion US dollars). Although construction has continued apace, the port on the Thames will only reach its full annual capacity of 3.5 million TEU in several years. But it is already able to process the largest, 18,000-TEU container vessels that anchor just 20 miles down the river from the capital – loaded with goods for the growing British market.
The cargo reaches its destination without delay. London Gateway is linked to the nearby “London Orbital,” the M25-motorway that encircles the capital. In addition to that, the port has the UK’s largest port rail freight terminal. DB Schenker was the first company to offer scheduled rail freight services from the port and now provides connections on all weekdays. On balance, London Gateway offers excellent opportunities to bring about “radical shifts to the UK’s consumer supply chain,” as the Guardian newspaper recently put it.