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Demand at Thames Freeport soars

Thames Freeport is reporting sky-high demand from businesses wanting to relocate to its investment zone, potentially transforming the economic fortunes of the Thames Estuary in the 2020s.


On the 12-month anniversary of the government’s announcement that it would become one of the UK’s eight freeports, Thames Freeport has experienced unparalleled demand, with businesses from a broad range of sectors taking advantage of the substantial incentives offered by freeport status, including zero stamp duty on leases, significant savings on employer national insurance contributions, accelerated capital allowances and a five-year business rates holiday.


DP World recently revealed that a third business in four months will be locating at its port-centric logistics park, with construction underway on a second speculative unit in less than a year to meet unprecedented demand for quality warehousing space in South East England.

With the announcement that a new £300m fourth berth at London Gateway – one of Europe’s biggest infrastructure projects – will create even more capacity for the world’s largest vessels, the case for investing appears compelling.  


Similarly, expansion at the Port of Tilbury shows no signs of slowing. Built and operational during the height of the pandemic, Tilbury2, the new 160-acre port terminal handles containers and trailers with exports and imported goods, including food, drink and medical supplies to and from continental Europe on P&O Ferries’ busy Tilbury-Zeebrugge freight route.


Commenting on the one-year anniversary of freeport shortlisting, Rt Hon Ruth Kelly, Chair of Thames Freeport, said: “The growth at our manufacturing and logistics cluster continues to go from strength to strength, as businesses fast track their investment decisions to be located at Thames Freeport.”

Charles Hammond OBE, Chief Executive of the Forth Ports Group, said: “As London and the South-East grows, so does Tilbury. Customers continue to prioritise our operations as a fast and efficient low carbon distribution route to the UK’s growth markets. Over the coming months, we will complete our new 160-acre port, Tilbury2, and begin work to prepare further land for substantial development to satisfy strong customer demand.”

Alexandra Herdman, Public Policy Manager, Logistics UK, said: “Freeports have the potential to unlock new opportunities in global supply chains and we are delighted to see that business is booming at Thames Freeport, just one year after government announced it was successful in its bid to receive Freeport status.

“Freeports also hold the potential to grow multimodal operations too, particularly rail freight, and it is good to see that Thames Freeport has committed to developing the rail offering at its sites.”


Published On: 10/03/2022 16:00:00


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