Establishing operations at UK Multimodal Gateway: Essex can enable logistics and distribution businesses to minimise costs, emissions and risks, maximise flexibility and efficiency in transport planning, and ‘future-proof’ supply chains.

Essex combines more than 1,000 acres of port-adjacent, tri-modally connected logistics and distribution sites with a specialist logistics workforce and fast access to UK, European and global markets – by road, rail, sea and air.


Essex: The Multimodal Gateway (4.41 MB)

Global, Multimodal Transport Connectivity

Locating in Essex provides logistics and distribution businesses with world-class multimodal infrastructure and global transport connectivity:

  • 4 major sea ports: London Gateway, Tilbury, Harwich and Purfleet ports offer large freight capacities, high-frequency deep-sea and short-sea services and the ability to handle all cargo types – lo-lo (containers), ro-ro (ferries), general, dry bulk, liquid bulk and vehicles.
  • 6 portside rail freight terminals provide businesses with high-frequency connections to distribution hubs and markets in the UK and continental Europe (via the Channel Tunnel)
  • 6 London airports within 1.30 hours’ HGV drive time, including the UK’s No.1 and No.3 air freight hubs by capacity: – London Heathrow (LHR) and London Stansted (in Essex, less than 1 hour from the county’s key portcentric sites)
  • Direct motorway access to UK and European markets via the M25 London orbital motorway: just 30 minutes’ HGV drive time from Essex’s key portcentric sites
  • Access to high-value markets – direct access to the UK’s (and one of Europe’s) largest and highest income markets (London and South East England).

Portcentric Logistics Sites

port of tilbury aerial

Essex offers more than 1,000 acres of tri-modally connected, portcentric or port-adjacent logistics sites available for development – significantly more logistics space than competitor UK portcentric locations can offer.

Essex’s key portcentric, tri-modal logistics sites include . . .

  • London Gateway Logistics park, Thurrock – 560 acres / 9 million sq ft of development land with planning in place, accommodating units up to 1 million+ sq ft.
  • Thames Enterprise Park, Thurrock – up to 400 acres of logistics space, available for development.
  • London Distribution Park, Tilbury – 700 acres / 900,000 sq ft of development land to accommodate units up to 670,000 sq ft. ‘Ready to go’ with infrastructure in place.

Portcentric Cost Savings

Portcentric distribution from Essex to major UK markets can deliver significant, measurable cost savings for logistics and distribution businesses, compared with the traditional UK ‘central distribution centre’ model.

According to industry research (by Drewry, based on London Gateway) shipping to, and portcentric distribution from, Essex portcentric sites can reduce round-trip transport costs by . . .

  • Around £189 savings per container shipped to London and the South East
  • Around £59 savings per container shipped to the Midlands and North West

For businesses serving European and global markets, Essex’s cost-effectiveness is further enhanced by:

  • Europe’s best major location for ‘ease of doing business’ – the UK (World Bank)
  • Significant labour cost savings versus major continental European logistics hubs including Rotterdam, Hamburg and Antwerp
  • A more flexible labour market (UK) than any continental European competitor country (World Bank)

Large-Scale, Skilled Logistics Workforce

Essex (Thurrock) offers a logistics workforce that is outstanding in the UK, with more workers than competitor UK locations in the key logistics categories of ‘Elementary Occupations’, ‘Transport and Storage’ and ‘Skilled Trades’ (as % of total workforce) (ONS, 2015).

Additionally, Essex offers a larger available workforce for logistics occupations – a measured by unemployment – than competitor UK locations including Felixstowe, Northamptonshire, Warwickshire and Leicestershire

Logistics Education, Training & Expertise

Essex’s higher and further education institutions work in close partnership with the county’s ports and logistics businesses to deliver a skilled, qualified logistics workforce…

Essex Business School (University Of Essex) delivers ports and logistics-related post-graduate courses including ‘Global Supply Chain and Operations Management’ and ‘Supply Chain and Logistics – Technology Management’

South Essex College delivers a Level 3 Diploma in ‘Business, Logistics and Supply Chain’ from its new £45 million Thurrock Campus.

Industrial Strategy

See here for Essex County Council’s response to the Government’s Industrial Strategy…


Industrial Strategy (5.97 MB)


Robert Edge

+44 (0) 7740 179497

Following a ten year career with a major Colchester freight forwarder shipping everything from confectionery to oxygen plants, Robert has spent almost 15 years in inward investment promotion. Having had experience in China, India and the Middle East, Robert leads on the logistics and renewables sector.