Decade-high Growth for Thames


Trade in the Port of London in 2016 reached an all-time high for the decade after rising 10% to top 50 million tonnes for the first time since 2008, reflecting continued growth at terminals along the Thames.

The tonnage of cargo handled at terminals on the Thames last year was 50.4 million tonnes, five million tonnes (or 11%) up on 2015; with 2016 delivering the first cargoes to the Thames Oil Port — the former Coryton oil refinery site now redeveloped as a fuel terminal. The port has reported that volumes of oil, containers and building materials “all rose markedly”.

Prior to 2016, port throughput had been increasing year-on-year at between two to three percent,

DP World London Gateway also handled increasing numbers of ultra large container ships operating between Asia and Europe. 

Additional central and south American and Oceania services were also secured and testing of facilities on Berth Three at the deep-sea port will start at the end of 2016. 

At the Port of Tilbury, a new chilled store for NFT was opened and the acquisition of land for port expansion was completed.

The Port of London comprises over 70 independently owned and operated terminals and port facilities at different locations on the Thames. These handle a wide range of cargoes.

  • Oil trades has increased by 22% from 10.9 million tonnes in 2015 to 13.3 million tonnes in 2016
  • Containers and trailers (unitised traffic) is up 7% to 18 million tonnes
  • Aggregates and cement increased again from 10.7 million tonnes (16%) up to 12.4 million tonnes
  • Cereal volumes has increased by 15% to one million tonnes

Robin Mortimer, PLA Chief Executive, said: “Our long term Vision is for 60 to 80 million tonnes of cargo to be traded every year through the Port of London – more than at any time in the Thames' history. Passing 50 million tonnes in 2016 is a major milestone towards this goal.”

The start of 2017 marked the first time CMA CGM’s Caribbean Service called at the DP World London Gateway Port. The service is set to run following improvements to the line’s North Europe to Central America service rotation.

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