The Port of Tilbury’s Asset and Site Director, Paul Dale, and Commercial Director and Transport Minister Robert Courts MP, on a tour of the Port of Tilbury

Transport Minister visits Port of Tilbury to see scale of investment & Thames Freeport opportunities

Dylan MacdonaldForth Ports

The Port of Tilbury welcomed the Transport Minister, Robert Courts MP to the port today (27 June) for a briefing and tour of the UK’s fastest growing port which has, through a multimillion-pound investment programme and by achieving freeport status, created an unrivalled operation for the rapidly growing logistics sector.

The Minister was given an in-dock boat tour accompanied by the Port of Tilbury’s Asset and Site Director, Paul Dale, and Commercial Director, Peter Ward; Thurrock MP Jackie Doyle-Price; Thurrock Council’s Leader Cllr Rob Gledhill and Deputy Leader, Cllr Mark Coxshall allowing the Minister to see for himself the impacts of the significant investment across the port and the diverse onsite activities.  The Minister met company apprentices and was given a demonstration of the Port’s state-of-the-art simulator suite.

Mr Courts stopped at the country’s largest unaccompanied freight ferry terminal*, Tilbury2, a £250m investment spanning 160 acres, which was officially opened by the Prime Minister on 31 January 2022. The site is also home to new border infrastructure; the UK’s largest construction materials processing hub operated by Tarmac; and Tesco’s domestic rail operations.

Maritime Minister, Robert Courts MP, said: “Investment in the Port of Tilbury is investing in the local economy. With the new freight ferry terminal at Tilbury2 now in operation, more services can be added to the port, which will result in the creation of more jobs. We are committed to boosting global trade and supporting the port’s growth will help to build and strengthen our economy.

 “This is just one of the ways we’re building back better – and we owe a big debt of gratitude to the hardworking team at the port who worked tirelessly during the pandemic, ensuring the movement of goods continued and who showed great resilience and dedication throughout.”

 After hosting the ministerial visit, Paul Dale, Asset and Site Director, Port of Tilbury, commented: “Built and delivered during the pandemic, Tilbury2 is a UK success story.  Whether it’s food or medical supplies, industrial goods or construction materials, our new port with its first class rail terminals and barge loading jetty provides a suite of low carbon distribution options for our customers.  Backed by further substantial shareholder investment, the Thames Freeport will be a catalyst to expand at pace to satisfy growing customer demand in this prime location, delivering high quality employment and contributing to the levelling up of south Essex.”

 *The T2 ferry terminal was built and operational during the height of the pandemic, the 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. The site also handles Tesco’s new refrigerated train service to Scotland’s premier freight hub at the Port of Grangemouth.

Tarmac’s construction materials terminal (CMAT) will use a bespoke 2km long aggregates conveyor system and a railhead capable of taking the longest freight trains at 775m, meaning construction materials can be delivered efficiently from vessel to the terminal for processing before moving onto building projects and public infrastructure schemes like HS2 without the use of heavy road haulage.


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