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Gateway super port set to welcome first ship

London Gateway in Stanford-le-Hope, Essex, is a £1.5 billion "super port" which is expected to save British importers and exporters hundreds of millions of pounds every year from reduced transportation of goods across the UK.

Just 25 miles from the capital, it is the closest deep sea port to the UK's largest markets of London, Birmingham and Manchester. The container ship MOL Caledon is expected to arrive from South Africa at around 11pm.

London Gateway is Europe's largest logistics park with 9.25 million square feet of warehouse capacity, and it is thought the development will add £3.2 billion to the economy each year and 12,000 direct jobs.

Giant cranes sail up the Thames - full report

They are more than twice the size of Nelson's Column and today three of the largest cranes in the world were ferried along the Thames to a new super port.

They'll be used to lift containers from giant cargo ships onto the quayside at London Gateway, the £1.5 billion global shipping port which is set to create thousands of jobs in the region.

Derek Johnson reports and speaks to Simon Moore, of DP World London Gateway, and Andrew Bowen, Engineering Director.

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New photos of 138 metre cranes from China on Thames

Huge new cranes arrive at The London Gateway Credit: Derek Johnson

Three new giant cranes have arrived from China into the new deep-sea port in the Thames Estuary. The site is near Stanford le-Hope in Essex. The quay cranes which are taller than the London Eye measure 138 metres in height - two and a half times the height of Nelson's column in Trafalgar Square.

The cranes will be used to lift containers from big ships onto the shore. The LOndon Gateway is due to open at the end of 2013. When complete, its owners say it could bring 36,000 jobs to the economy.

Three new cranes close up Credit: Derek Johnson
Artist's impression of the completed London Gateway Credit: London Gateway
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First 3 of 20 cranes heading to London Gateway

The three 138 metre tall cranes set sail Credit: DP World

How large?

The cranes are taller than the London Eye, weigh 1,848 tons each, will reach across 25 rows of containers on a vessel and can lift up to 80 tons at a time.

Why so large?

London Gateway will be handling the world’s largest container ships, operated by shipping lines to provide economies of scale and reduce environmental impact on the main shipping trade lanes. That means lower cost and lower carbon supply chains for retailers and other cargo owners.

And the future?

The 25-box outreach takes the cranes beyond the width of the world’s largest container ship. “The size of the cranes future-proofs the port, allowing London Gateway to handle the next generation of ultra large container ships,” says London Gateway operations director Tim Halhead.

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