In tonnage terms, the most significant decline was in unitised trades (principally containers and lorry trailers) which were down by 2.45m tonnes (-16%). Crude oil and oil product trades declined by 1.9m tonnes (-10%), aggregates were down by 1.3m tonnes (-17%). Smaller volume cargoes which increased included: cereals (7%) and vegetable oils and oil seed (12%).
Explaining the figure, PLA chief executive, Richard Everitt said, “The Port of London is intrinsically linked to economic activity. It was inevitable that 2009 would be a very tough year and we expect trade in 2010 to be little changed”.
He stressed that the fundamental attractions of the port as a destination for trade into the South East remained strong, which had attracted the £1.5bn (US$2.2bn) ‘London Gateway’ container port development.