πŸ’ Inside the London megaport you didn't know existed | Art and design | The Guardian

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London Gateway was built by Dubai, is twice the size of the City of London, is run by robots, has the world's largest cranes – and it's where.


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London Gateway is a unique development that combines the UK's newest deep-​sea container port with Europe's largest logistics park, using world-leading.


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DP World London Gateway is a port within the wider Port of London, United Kingdom. Opened in November , the site is a fully integrated logistics facility,​.


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Standing on top of one of the cranes, we look down on spindly-legged shuttle carriers zooming around like creatures from Star Wars, searching for containers to pick up and take back to the stacks that sprawl off into the distance. So what do we send back in return? Apart from empty containers, paper waste makes up the bulk of what goes the other way. Last year it was a winter wonderland of Frozen toys. The sheer scale is impossible to comprehend from the ground: the facility is twice the size of the City of London. DP World is in it for the long game. The physical economy of heaving stuff to and fro has been replaced by the streamlined global flow of finance, conducted in anonymous glass towers. The level of automation allows London Gateway to stay open no matter the weather, when Felixstowe and Southampton are forced to close β€” another advantage DP World is keen to trumpet, as the new kid on a very established block. Those toys from China, it turns out, were trucked here from Felixstowe. The day I visit, the m-long Cap San Antonio has just arrived, laden with meat and wine from South America, soon joined by the Cap Spencer from Australia, carrying more fresh produce and garments from Sri Lanka. Rising m up into the Essex skies, they are the tallest quay cranes in the world β€” a line of skeletal giants beneath which the London Eye could happily be rolled. Reuse this content. London Gateway comes to the rescue with its hectare logistics park goes the sales pitch , giving the ship-to-warehouse-to-store service in one. The port has been up and running for almost two years, with two of its six berths now complete and a third well on the way. Still, Neil Davidson, senior analyst at Drewry shipping consultants, is optimistic. With the rise of inner-city express shops, particularly in south-east England, supermarkets no longer have the onsite storage capacity they once did. Welcome to DP World London Gateway , the latest international trophy of the oil-rich emirate of Dubai, and one of the biggest privately funded infrastructure projects the UK has ever seen. As we drive out to the sprawling sandy landscape, the blue dot floats out into the Thames, from whose depths this new quayside has been summoned. Over 30 million tonnes of silt was dredged to make this artificial land mass, which extends m beyond the original shoreline, a process that saw the largest migration of animals in Europe β€” with , newts, water voles and adders relocated to a new nature reserve nearby. The stacks are managed by fully automated cranes on rails, which glide around arranging the great piles of containers in the right order for collection, like obsessively tidy robots. Facebook Twitter Pinterest. And so the global cycle goes on. Order by newest oldest recommendations. Followed by rubbish. Thankfully computer algorithms and a handy software programme called Autostow handle the rest, calculating container distribution by various parameters, from weight to port of arrival. Most popular.{/INSERTKEYS}{/PARAGRAPH} Loading comments… Trouble loading? When the port is finished, it will be able to unload six of them at once. Topics Architecture Architecture and design blog. {PARAGRAPH}{INSERTKEYS}Where once burly dockers hauled crates of exotic cargo, now bankers engage in international trade of a less visible kind. Or so the story goes. Show 25 25 50 All. But what cranes they are. We drive further across the Martian landscape, where JCBs are heaving sand to prepare the ground for another chunk of the , sq m of shed-city that will one day arrive here, and come to an office building that overlooks the docks. Each file is presented as a series of cross-sectional slices, like a rainbow-coloured CT-scan through the length of the vessel. Threads collapsed expanded unthreaded. The location of this vast new enterprise is not simply a question of reviving a lost tradition, but of common-sense logistics. When the port is fully up and running, DP World says it will save 65m HGV miles and take 2, trucks off the road per day β€” a compelling argument for environmental and economic efficiency. Inside, teams of people sit at screens examining what looks like a fiendishly complicated game of Tetris. Not that you would ever know it was happening, just 20 miles down the river from London. Truck collection is automated too: when a vehicle arrives, it is scanned and told which bay to go to, where a robot-crane dutifully loads the correct container, and off it goes β€” a turnaround which usually happens in less than half an hour.