On completion in 2024 the berth will lift London Gateway’s capacity by a third, with DP World saying it will give the location more room to handle the world’s largest vessels than any other port in the UK.

The company said the resilience of the UK supply chain will be strengthened by the £350m project, which builds on DP World’s £2bn investment in Britain over the past decade. 

Ernst Schulze, UK chief executive of DP World, said: “I am delighted that we have taken the next step in delivery of the new fourth berth and made clear our commitment to investing in and regenerating the areas where we operate. Over the next ten years we have earmarked a further £1bn of investment in this country.

“The construction of the new fourth berth is creating 1,000 jobs, and London Gateway’s rapidly growing logistics park will employ 12,000 people when it is completed in five years’ time. Our investment is a catalyst for the regeneration of one of the most deprived areas in the UK, which is currently in the top decile of deprivation.”

Seamus Devlin, McLaughlin & Harvey civil engineering director, added: “We are delighted to have been awarded the contract with DP World and to begin delivering this vital piece of national infrastructure. We bring with us extensive experience in the marine sector and look forward to engaging with our local supply chain and creating jobs locally.”

DP World operates two deep-water ports, at London Gateway and Southampton.

In a record for the former, DP World announced in July that London Gateway handled more than one million TEU in the six months between January and June. When factoring in throughput at Southampton this performance contributed to a record volume of cargo in the first half of the year for DP World’s ports in the UK, with a combined total of 1,937,000 TEU.

And in September DP World announced London Gateway had handled its ten millionth container, nine years after the logistics hub opened. Last year, London Gateway transported 1.8 million TEU, an increase of almost 650% compared with its first full year of operation in 2014. 

Schulze said: “Within a decade, London Gateway is likely to be handling up to 30 per cent of the country's containerised trade. Its port-centric logistics park will be one of the largest in Europe.”

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