DP World’s London Gateway, the U.K.’s new deep-sea port and Europe’s largest logistics park opening in Q4 this year, will prove that ports add value to the supply chain, delegates to the 11th annual 3PL Summit and Chief Supply Chain Officer Forum in Chicago were told yesterday.
Peter Ward, London Gateway supply chain commercial manager, said, “London Gateway is overturning the traditional view that ports add cost, not value. We are reversing the trend – shortening supply chain time, distance and cost because our port is closer to the main manufacturing and consumer markets.”
London Gateway, 25 miles from central London on the River Thames, is due to open later this year and the team is currently making a series of presentations in the United States to showcase the benefits of both the port and the adjacent logistics park.
Mr. Ward said, “The development of this logistics spark – Europe's largest – is a game-changing opportunity for shippers to redesign logistics networks to support doing business in today’s dynamic markets. There is an insatiable appetite to reduce transport costs and inventory whilst maintaining or even improving product availability and speed to market, and we are in the best position to make that happen.”
He added London Gateway provided a great opportunity for U.S. exporters, importers and forwarders trading with the U.K. to protect and grow market share in the face of stiffening competition from emerging markets.
Last week leading retailer Marks & Spencer announced plans to build a major distribution center at London Gateway’s logistics park. Alan Stewart, CFO, Marks & Spencer, said, “We will reduce the lead times between goods landing in the U.K. and getting into our stores, in front of our customers, from about three weeks to three days.”
The Chicago forum, organized by EyeforTransport, attracted 575 delegates and is one of the largest annual gatherings of shippers, forwarders and 3PLs in the U.S.
The London Gateway team also hosted an Insight breakfast for local companies as well as for people attending the summit to give them a greater understanding of the benefits the port and logistics park can deliver.
A spokesman for one of the leading global forwarders remarked that “London Gateway is bucking the trend. As ports around the world move further away from manufacturing and consumer markets in search of deeper water for bigger ships, London Gateway is mitigating longer supply chains by locating the port and logistics park closer to the U.K.’s main markets.”