Economic impact of the Port of London

The Port of London is the second largest port in the UK, handling 54 million tonnes of freight in 2019 and growing 20% over the past five years. Reflecting its status as a major port, London deals with freight traffic from around the world, with EU freight traffic particularly prominent. In addition, there are also significant volumes of passengers who use the Thames, with around 10 million journeys made per year.

In February 2020, the PLA commissioned SQW to update the findings from previous economic impact studies, most recently in 2015. The study forms part of the evidence base for the review of The Vision for the Tidal Thames – Thames 2035. The results are also a snapshot of activity just prior to the start of the Covid-19 pandemic in the UK.

The study drew on a telephone survey of port sector businesses as well as analysis of Dun and Bradstreet data. The economic impact analysis estimates that that activity in the Port generates significant economic value of £4.5bn of GVA and supports 48,000 jobs. The study also investigated workforce characteristics and occupations, emerging responses to the 2050 net zero emissions target, and growth expectations and planned investments.

The 2020 report can be downloaded here. A summary of our full 2015 report can be downloaded here.