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The busy Thames
The London River
By Peter Barker
Commercially the ports and harbours of Kent play a significant part in supplying the country's needs – we are of course an island nation and over 90 per cent of our imports arrive by sea.
The modern image of the River Thames may be expensive property developments where previously busy waterfront wharves and enclosed docks operated but with over 50 million tonnes of cargo handled annually, London was the UK’s third busiest port in 2004.
Outward bound at Gravesend
The jurisdiction of the Port of London Authority covers 150 kilometres from Margate on the Kent coast and Clacton in Essex to Teddington taking in over 70 operational wharves.
Containers, aggregates, vehicles, scrap, forest products, sugar, oil, chemicals and cruise ship passengers are just a sample of the diverse cargoes that pass through the port of London.
A cargo of particular interest is the half a million tonnes of central London’s domestic waste moved within the port's limits keeping 160,000 lorries off the capital's roads each year.
A busy scene at Gravesend
Overall, the Port of London contributes over £3.4 billion annually to the economy of London and the South East.
These figures illustrate the influence the Thames has on the region especially with over 32,500 full time equivalent jobs being generated – a lot of people sitting on our beaches, every day of the year at that!
last updated: 06/03/2008 at 14:07