By Marcus Leach

London Gateway is set to become the largest deep-sea port in the UK, where it will, at capacity, handle 3.5 million containers a year.

The port, in it's early stages, will open in late 2013, when it will initially handle 1.6 million shipping containers a year. However, that number will, over time, rise to 3.5 million.

The site in Thurrock, Essex, which was previously a Shell oil refinery, began its transformation in early 2010.

DP World, the owners of the project, says the Thames Estuary development has already created 600 jobs and it plans to increase that number by a further 1,000 over the coming months.

Of those new jobs 700 will be in construction, while the other 300 are described as port jobs.

When finished it is estimated that the port, and its surrounding impact, will create over 30,000 jobs. This will add £3.2 billion to the UK economy each year.

"London Gateway is a giant leap forward for the UK's supply chains and will benefit our customers tremendously through more efficient transportation of goods," DP World's chief executive, Mohammed Sharaf, said.

Join us on
Follow @freshbusiness