The first scheduled ship, MOL Caledon, has docked at London Gateway, marking the opening of the port in the Thames operated by DP World.
The ship is part of the South African Europe Container Service (SAECS) which is made up of a consortium of shipping lines including MOL, Maersk, DAL and Safmarine.
MOL Caledon at London Gateway.
Junichiro Ikeda, chairman of MOL Line, said: “We believe that the new port through its modern facilities and convenient links to the business community, will provide us the perfect platform to continue the efficient and reliable services MOL is committed to offering its UK customers. The conditions at London Gateway, like draft and tides also gives us the opportunity to grow further through the introduction of bigger ships and a further expansion of our network. It’s a promising new port for a great country.”
London Gateway is capable of handling ultra large container ships which can carry over 18,000 shipping containers. The port is now operating with its first berth open. When fully developed, London Gateway will operate six berths, with a total of 24 quay cranes and will be able to handle 3.5 million TEU a year.
DP World chairman Sultan Ahmed Bin Sulayem said: “This is the first port to be built in the UK in a generation and so there is nothing else like this in the country. From today, shipping lines can now bring the world’s largest ships closer to key UK markets and reduce the costs of transport.”