Last week I was delighted to welcome the Secretary of State for International Trade, Liam Fox, to Tilbury Port to hear about plans for the future and to explore how the Port will address the opportunities brought by Brexit.
I am very clear, Thurrock is the Port capital of the UK. Our three ports already deal with more by tonnage than anywhere other than the Humber. Plans to expand that activity will firmly strengthen Thurrock’s position as an international logistics and trading hub.
This will bring with it the opportunity for more wealth and more jobs to be created to the benefit of our local people. Jobs in the Port are well paid, with good training opportunities and fantastic prospects.
Liam Fox said: “Tilbury Port has a strategic position on the Thames estuary, a skilled maritime workforce and a long history of international trade. Together with the developments at Thamesport, we are seeing great improvements in the capacity of the Thames as a gateway for international trade for the future.
We are now forging our own independent trade policy for the first time in more than 40 years and Tilbury and other ports will play a major role in helping the whole of the UK to capitalise on the opportunities to increase our trade with the rest of the world.
I applaud and respect the hard work of the port’s workers who are helping to ensure that Britain remains a great exporting, maritime nation.”
Tilbury is the fastest growing port in the UK and a £1 billion investment programme will see the port employing 9,000 people by 2020, 3 times more than it did in 2012. This investment will see the amount of trade passing through the port reach 32 million tonnes each year, equivalent to more than 1 tonne every second.
Dr Fox saw Jaguars and Land Rovers ready to be shipped to West Africa and South America, as well as paper imported from Finland and Sweden, and grain that is traded with North America and Europe.