Image: courtesy Forth Ports

P&O freight berth boosts Tilbury’s rail plans

The overhaul of rail freight operations at the Port of Tilbury, London’s main trading port, has been boosted further with a planned new purpose-built river freight berth.

P&O Ferries has reached an agreement with the port’s owner Forth Port to move local operations to a new facility at Tilbury that will treble its freight capacity to 600,000 units a year by 2020. The ferry operator says the berth would give Tilbury ‘an unrivalled service’ for those wanting to move goods in and out of the capital.

‘Unrivalled service’

Tilbury plans to build the Tilbury2 facility on a 152-acre site which was part of a former power station and will include a new deep water jetty in the River Thames. The plan is still subject to planning permission being granted.

The port is in the midst of a programme to upgrade its rail freight infrastructure, including the introduction of regular intermodal services to the Midlands and Scotland. With three port-side rail terminals and the Essex Thameside rail corridor accounting for around a tenth of the UK’s rail freight traffic, this latest development complements the port’s long term plans.


Janette Bell, Chief Executive of P&O Ferries, said: “I am looking forward to working closely with the team at Forth Ports to relocate our operation on the Thames to a state of the art new terminal and river berth. Together with our market leading services across the English Channel, this new facility will enable P&O Ferries to offer customers exporting to or from London and the South East genuine alternatives, whether they choose to move their loads in self-drive vehicles or as unaccompanied freight.”

Charles Hammond, Group Chief Executive of Forth Ports, said: “As we prepare for the examination of our development consent order for Tilbury2, this new long-term partnership with P&O Ferries provides a strong economic and market underpinning of our intended development plans to grow UK trade and create further employment opportunities within Tilbury.”


P&O Ferries, supported by its Ferrymasters logistics division, operates integrated road and rail links to countries including Italy, Poland, Germany, Spain and Romania. P&O Ferrymasters also owns a rail terminal in the Romanian city of Oradea, which facilitates the onward movement of goods to Britain from Asian countries via the ‘New Silk Road’.

Author: Simon Weedy

Simon is a journalist for - a dedicated online platform for all the news about the rail freight sector

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