UK – London based Thames Freeport hits a milestone of GBP 600 million (USD 748 million) of private sector investment in its first two years commitment to the project.

Thames Freeport is an economic zone with 1,700 acres of development land located in the Thames Estuary – connecting Ford’s Dagenham engine plant and the global ports at DP World’s London Gateway and Forth Ports’ Tilbury.

On a visit to meet the Thames Freeport partners last week, UK investment minister Lord Johnson highlighted the extensive opportunities for businesses to locate at the site following its launch by the then Chancellor of the Exchequer Rishi Sunak MP in 2021.

A partnership between Ford, Forth Ports Limited and DP World, Thames Freeport is expected to ultimately see a total of over USD 5.7 million in new public and private investment, and the creation of over 21,000 new jobs and many more across supply chains.

This latest USD 748 million investment represents the funds committed by the partners and tenants over the last 24 months. Some 1,000 jobs are being created as a direct result, the first of a total 21,000 people who will be employed at the freeport.

Lord Johnson, during his visit, pointed out that UK Freeports represent a generational shift in UK competitiveness, creating perfect places for businesses to innovate, collaborate and grow.

“It is fantastic to see Thames Freeport already realizing their vision of a global hub for trade and investment into advanced manufacturing, clean technologies, and future logistics,” he said.

In another recent publication by FoodLogistics, several other key ports and carriers in the global food supply chain have been listed including Port Everglades, Port Freeport, Port of Galveston, Port of Houston, and Port of Hueneme among others.

The Gulf Coast’s Port Freeport which boasts of a 45-foot-deep channel is a key port for banana importers Dole Fresh Fruit and Chiquita Brands International according to the article. Annually, the Port handles about 60,000 TEU (twenty-foot equivalent unit), mostly bananas.

Additionally, the article reveals that imports of agricultural commodities at Port of Galveston are led by bananas, pineapple, and other fruit with Guatemala the top origin country (75 %).

It is further outlined that recently, Port of Houston launched a pilot program to import summer citrus from South Africa, one of the world’s largest citrus exporters. South African citrus exporters see the port as strategically positioned to serve consumers in the U.S. Southwest and Midwest.

Finally, the publication shows that last October, Del Monte Fresh Produce signed a five-year lease extension with the Port of Hueneme, located about 65 miles north of Los Angeles.

“Del Monte ships fresh bananas, pineapple, honeydew and cantaloupe through the Port, which offers perishable shippers a total 223,000 square feet of refrigerated terminal space along with the ability to handle containerized chilled and frozen cargoes through dedicated on-dock yards,” outlines the publication.

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