massive offshore operation that includes dredging up sand and silt from the Thames riverbed has created a 
parcel of new land on the north bank of the Thames Estuary 40 km (25 mi) east of central London. This new 
land is the site of the London Gateway—the UK’s first 21st-century major deep-sea container port and Europe’s 

largest logistics park. 

Getting ready for the big ships
Owned and operated by DP World, London Gateway is a brownfield development that will create a completely new, 
state-of-the-art, shipping and distribution facility. With six berths and the capability to handle Ultra Large Container Ships 
(ULCS), the terminal will deploy automated container handling systems and controls. With a projected cost of £1.5bn (US 
$2.35bn), the new port will use a multi-modal approach to connect deep-water shipping to the UK via smaller ships, rail 
and roads and will dramatically increase the container handling capability of the Port of London. It is projected to attract 
new businesses and thousands of jobs to its modern logistics and distribution facilities. 

Today’s massive ULCS can carry over 14,000 twenty-foot equivalent units (TEU) of containerized cargo. (A TEU represents 
the volume and dimensions of one standard 20-foot shipping container.) The port and newly dredged river channel will 
provide the terminal infrastructure required by these immense vessels, including channel and berth depth, bridge height, 
quay crane height and boom length, and inland and terminal logistics networks. 

Land and Satellite Surveys (L&SS) is contracted to support the many divisions of London Gateway. Mark Humphrey of L&SS 
takes care of land and engineering survey requirements on the inland “Park Side” of the London Gateway site. The primary 
focus for this area is to prepare it for roads, rail and buildings. On a daily basis Humphrey can undertake anything from 
setting-out and volumetric surveys to as-built surveys or preparing CAD drawings and machine-control models.

A New Port for London

Construction on England’s New Seaport Requires Rapid Response to a Multitude

of Surveying Needs. Here’s How One Surveyor Handles the Load.