Europe's first port of call
Move across the Estuary, move across the world
We believe that the Thames Estuary region provides the greatest opportunity for businesses to move products, supplies, and information seamlessly. On the Thames, we are working closely with UK and international partners to drive economic opportunity, job growth, and business transactions through the power of logistics.
With some of the greatest logistics infrastructure in the world, including the recently approved Thames Freeport, and expanding airports such as Southend, we are facilitating business growth like no other region in the country.
Realising our vision
The Thames Estuary Growth Board and Estuary Envoy understand that net-zero and river-based logistics is the foundational piece underpinning the economy, from manufacturing and building to new sectors like Web3 and ecommerce.
We are working with our partners in the public and private sectors to create a thriving river-based economy. Our ‘first port of call’ is to move freight off the roads and on to the river by transporting parcels, packages and goods in and out of the capital by boat, to reduce pollution and congestion, supporting the UK’s net zero commitment.
Through a series of pilot schemes, we now have a strategic commercial case for River Freight and a strong evidence base which supports this huge investment opportunity at every stage in the supply chain.
Commercial benefits of river freight and net-zero logistics
We’re working with international logistics suppliers and emerging disruptors to create a new logistics ecosystem in the heart of the Estuary, on London’s doorstep, and with access to some of the largest markets in Western Europe.
Our research study has found that a large scale river operation handling 20 million parcels a year could reduce operating costs by £3.87 per parcel. This would also capitalise on opportunities around social benefits, utilising multi modal solutions, sharing infrastructure and identifying new freight flows. In comparison, increasing congestion in London and the likelihood of higher road pricing could drive the cost of road transport up by only £0.12 per parcel. The data shows that the River Thames is the way to go.
ESG credentials of river-based logistics in the Thames Estuary
We recognise that currently, the shipping and freight industry is a source of significant carbon emissions on a global scale. To help solve this, the Thames Estuary Growth Board are committed to greening supply chains through new River Freight solutions and technologies, which will enable good green growth in the Region and beyond.
Logistics as a broad and multifaceted industry is essential to the national and global economy, bringing untold benefits to business, industry, and residents and improving the opportunities and livelihoods of millions across the Estuary.
Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) for logistics and supply chains is far more involved than the basic factors measuring the sustainability and societal impact of an investment. It needs to include issues such as human resource practices, business ethics and board diversity – and it must be tracked and reported against corporate ESG goals to the correct stakeholders. We believe in the power of logistics to create a better, healthier, and safer world for today and tomorrow.
Our riverboat service has proven the potential of the Thames as a reliable and efficient way to transport small goods through London and we’re proud to be pioneering this mode of logistics in the UK. By utilising one of London’s main arteries, we can help reduce congestion and improve air quality, all the while continuing to deliver a high-speed and quality service for customers.
Ben Hiles – Senior Director Infrastructure & Engineering, DHL Express
Current Logistics Opportunities:
Europe's first port of call
More than a port, a land of opportunity
Next generation manufacturing, logistics & energy hub
River Freight essentials
Albert Island, Royal Docks
London's food wholesale market
Strategic green road infrastructure
KenEx - Thames Gateway Tramlink