If the continued coronavirus lockdown has shown us one thing, it’s that the UK’s haulage and logistics networks are near-integral to the normal operation of the country. Whilst they don’t eclipse the importance of those on the frontline of the fight against the virus, they do ensure that goods get where they need to be – meaning that the rest of us can live comfortably during lockdown.
But as an island nation, and one that is highly dependent on international imports, it’ll come to no surprise that ports are the beating heart of our haulage infrastructure – from Liverpool to Felixstowe to London.
But how important are our ports to keeping haulage services running during lockdown, and what part does London Gateway play? Let’s take a look.
Haulage, Ports and COVID-19
As previously stated, the UK’s freight ports are vital in ensuring that goods are brought in to the country and distributed where they’re needed. In 2018, UK ports handled over 480 million tonnes of freight, demonstrating their importance.
And as the coronavirus outbreak has intensified in recent weeks, the importance of these ports has only become more apparent. As vital medical supplies, electrical goods and food come into the country, we are seeing haulage and logistics services delivering consignments at an increased rate.
This is best highlighted by the increase in freight trains in and out of ports – helping to meet the demands of food and medical supplies during the crisis. Currently, there are over 72 freight trains in and out of Felixstowe port on a weekly basis, with a further 20 trains leaving London Gateway. Between these two major ports, over half a million tonnes of freight is being transported each week, providing a vital link between our international suppliers and the people that need these goods to survive.
However, it’s not just trains that are helping. On a daily basis, hundreds of haulage companies are transporting road freight across the country, helping those in even the most remote regions get the goods they need.
The Importance of London Gateway
As the closest major port to the capital, London Gateway plays an increasingly important role in the fight against coronavirus, helping hauliers and logistics companies move goods in and out of the city with ease. DP World’s $2.4 Billion state-of-the-art port facility, which deals with millions of tonnes of freight each year, is close to some of England’s largest connecting motorways, making it hugely useful for road haulage. It also has direct rail links into London, as well as across South-East England, ensuring that freight can be shifted quickly and effectively via multiple routes.
The importance of this facility should be obvious. While it is not the largest sea freight link in the United Kingdom, the access it offers to the capital city for vital medical supplies and food is unparalleled.
Furthermore, London Gateway has been putting actions in place to ensure that it can continue to operate during the on-going COVID-19 pandemic. This includes the Declaration of Health Statements for all incoming vessels, minimal contact between crews and workers, as well as between workers and freight drivers, and an overall increase in cleaning and hygiene standards.
Whilst these measures have been forced upon the industry by the growth of coronavirus, it’s doubly important that freight services abide by strict rules, ensuring that key workers can continue to keep the country moving.
Forest Freight & London Gateway
London Gateway is especially important for us here at Forest Freight, being our closest freight port; allowing us to quickly pick up vital goods, get them back to our warehouse, and forward them onto where they’re most needed. We’re situated just 10 minutes from the port facility, allowing us to offer a fast, reliable haulage service for any consignments that dock there.
Furthermore, our team of logistics experts can guarantee a first-class service in and out of the port facility, with multiple daily runs available as well as next-day and same-day deliveries. In fact, our hauliers have an average turnaround time – from port to warehouse to onward delivery – of under 1 hour, demonstrating just how effective our proximity to London Gateway makes us.
At Forest Freight, we pride ourselves on our level of services, tailored to suit the requirements of our clients. And thanks to the continued efforts of those at London Gateway port facility, we can keep doing our job of getting vital goods across the country.
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If you have any concerns about London Gateway haulage or would like to discuss the details with an expert, get in touch with one of our team members.