Trade in the Port of London in 2016 reached the highest this decade, rising 10% to top 50 million tonnes for the first time since 2008.

The strong performance reflects continued growth at terminals along the Thames with volumes of oil, containers and building materials rising markedly.

The tonnage of cargo handled at terminals on the Thames last year was 50.4 million tonnes, five million tonnes (or 11%) up on 2015.

Last year saw the first cargoes delivered to the Thames Oil Port, the former Coryton oil refinery site, which has been redeveloped as a fuel terminal.

At the Port of Tilbury, a new chilled store for NFT was opened and the acquisition of land for port expansion was completed.

DP World London Gateway meanwhile handled increasing numbers of ultra large container ships operating between Asia and Europe.

Prior to 2016, port throughput had been increasing at between two to three percent, year-on-year.

By Anne-Marie Causer