Ports and Logistics

The ports and logistics sector in the Haven Gateway is substantial. In total, 38,900 people are employed in the sector, of which 14,400 work in wholesale. The sector also accounts for around 3,900 businesses

Employment in the sector is relatively high across most of the Gateway: the only districts where the sector share of local employment falls below its national share are Colchester and Babergh. The location quotient is particularly high in Suffolk Coastal, reflecting the contribution of Felixstowe.

The Haven Gateway’s port operations are of international significance and benefit from the Gateway’s location between the English Midlands and the major European ports at Rotterdam and Antwerp. The Gateway contains seven ports: the three Haven Ports at Felixstowe, Harwich and Ipswich, and four minor ports, the largest of which is at Mistley, near Manningtree. In 2015, all the ports combined handled 13.4 million tonnes of freight, although overall volumes have remained broadly static over the past decade.

  • Felixstowe, the largest of the Haven Ports by some margin is operated by Hutchison Ports UK and is the UK’s largest container port and container rail terminal (and the sixth busiest container port in Europe). There has been substantial investment at Felixstowe in recent years, including a doubling of the Port’s rail freight capacity in 2013; since the development of Felixstowe South, the ability of the Port to accommodate ‘mega vessels’ has expanded significantly. The Port also accommodates the new 68 acre Port of Felixstowe Logistics Park.
  • Harwich International Port, also owned by Hutchison Ports UK, is a freight and passenger port, offering container, ro-ro and dry and liquid bulk services. The Port also served as the installation base for the Gunfleet Sands and Great Gabbard offshore wind projects.
  • Port of Ipswich, owned by Associated British Ports, is the UK’s largest grain export port, as well as having a presence in timber and general cargo.
  • Port of Mistley is a smaller operation owned by TW Logistics, specialising in shortsea and coastal traffic.

London Stansted Airport is a very substantial transport and logistics asset. Currently, London Stansted employs around 10,800 people on site, working for 190 employers. The airport’s Sustainable Development Plan (2015) estimates that the expansion of the airport to 45 million passengers per year could create a further 10,000 jobs on-site by 2030. The airport is already the UK’s third largest freight airport, and expansion of freight volumes could increase logistics demand particularly in the west of the Gateway around Braintree.