DP World, the owners of the London Gateway port, say that it is due to open in the final months of 2013. Construction work began in January 2010 on a former Shell oil refinery.
The port will first be able to handle 1.6 million shipping containers each year but will steadily increase capacity, rising to 3.5 million containers over time.
The London Gateway will be the largest deep-sea port in the UK when it is completed.
The owners have said that London Gateway could bring as many as 32,000 jobs to the struggling UK economy.
The Thames Estuary development has created some 600 jobs to date, and DP World says it plans to increase the number by 1,000 more over the next months. Seven hundred of the jobs are said to be in construction, while 300 are outlined as port jobs.
Eventually, after the port reaches its full capacity, DP World estimates that it will bring 32,000 jobs to the UK. That means adding £3.2 billion to the UK economy yearly.
The figures include employment posts at a logistics centre, which will be located near the port.
The firm also says that their port will be environmentally friendly, as 65 million road freight miles will be skipped as a result of having the world’s largest cargo ships next to a major world city.
The chief executive of DP World, Mohammed Sharaf, called the new port “a giant leap forward for the UK’s supply chains.” He also said that the ‘super-port’ will make the transportation of goods much more efficient.
Business Secretary Vince Cable agrees with him, saying of London Gateway: “It will help Britain maintain its competitiveness, drive productivity, and crucially strengthen our links with Asia and beyond.”