NFT and Tilbury to open specialist refrigerated distribution centre at London's major port

Major Refrigerated PortCentric Distribution Centre to open at the Port of Tilbury


Forth Ports Limited, one the UK’s largest ports groups, announces today (23 March) the construction of a £20million state-of-the art temperature-controlled distribution centre at the Port of Tilbury in partnership with NFT Distribution.


The centre, planned to open in late 2015, is a long-term partnership investment with NFT - the UK’s market leader in chilled food distribution - to create a unique PortCentric distribution centre which will be one of the largest refrigerated (“reefer”) quayside facilities in Europe. The distribution centre will benefit from the latest distribution technology systems and is expected to create 500 new jobs


The new centre, which will see an investment of over £20million, takes PortCentric to another level with NFT’s major customers benefiting from a complete integration with the wider port operations at Tilbury and London Container Terminal (LCT). The 230,000sq.ft. building, will be located within the port estate adjacent to the LCT which handles over 500,000 containers each year.


As one of the largest reefer facilities in Europe with over 1400 points and onsite examination services for customs clearance, LCT has excellent value added services 24/7 which will provide the perfect synergy with NFT’s modern system controlled chilled facility.  LCT also benefits from a mix of global deep sea, and European feedering and short sea links which already carry a multitude of chilled goods through the terminal.


Charles Hammond, Group Chief Executive of Forth Ports (owners of the Port of Tilbury) said: “This is a very significant announcement for the Port of Tilbury and we are delighted to be working with NFT to create one of the largest temperature-controlled facilities in Europe at our port. Being located at London’s major port at Tilbury, this new distribution centre will be at the heart of the logistics process and support NFT’s goal to ensure a seamless experience for their major customers in the UK.


We are proud to build further on our already well established reputation for the receipt and handling of fresh produce. Ports are a key part of an efficient supply chain and with the additional land assets available it makes sense, both financially and from a customer service point of view, for businesses to use the port not only as an import/export service but as a logistics hub.”


David Frankish, Chief Executive Officer of NFT commented: “This PortCentric extension to NFT’s offering and substantial expansion to our chilled warehousing capacity in the South East will be a further step in defining our future development and growth as a key innovator of logistics services for the UK and global food industry. We deliver £11 billion worth of food products (at retail value) to UK retailers and manufacturers each year and NFT has experienced major success borne of its ability to provide integrated solutions to complex logistical challenges. We look forward to the centre opening later this year and we are confident of its commercial success based on the level of enquiries this new platform is generating already.


The distribution centre is targeted to be open for business by late 2015. It will have capacity for 25,000 pallets within 230,000 sq ft. and be able to handle more than 2.5 million cases per week. NFT’s research identifies this facility will create value and efficiencies in the supply chain and make a considerable contribution towards inimizing food miles.


23 March 2015                                  ENDS



Further information:


Forth Ports:     Debbie Johnston, Spreng & Co, 0141 548 5191 /



Notes to editors:


About The Port of Tilbury - the major gateway to London and the South East

The Port of Tilbury is London's major port, providing fast, modern distribution services for the benefit of the south east of England and beyond. A dynamic and diverse port handling the full range of cargoes with specialist expertise in the handling of paper and forest products, containers & Ro Ro, grain and bulk commodities and construction and building materials.


Tilbury's strategic location makes it the natural point for distribution with 18 million people living within 75 miles. Serving the UK's market, the port offers customers excellent transport links to and from the capital and across the South East where over 50% of the population live and work.


The Port is a diverse multi-modal hub, covering over 850 acres and is well positioned to access the M25 orbital motorway and the rest of the UK's national motorway network. In addition, there are direct rail connections within the Port, with access to the whole of the UK and dedicated barge facilities.


London Container Terminal (LCT) provides a unique combination of European Short Sea and Deep Sea services at the same facility.  As the UK’s third largest container terminal, Tilbury handles over half a million containers per year.


The London Construction Link (LCL) is a collaboration between the Port of Tilbury and S. Walsh, one of the leading construction solutions companies in London. The partnership is seeking to relieve congestion on the capital's roads, with associated cycling safety and CO2 benefits, through promoting greater use of construction consolidation and the use of the river for construction projects on or near the Thames. LCL builds upon the Tilbury’s pedigree as the logistics and distribution hub for the 2012 Olympics and Paralympics and S. Walsh’s success as the largest marine operator on the Thames. LCL is supported by British Cycling. / /



About NFT

NFT has over 30 years experience at the forefront of chilled logistics in the UK.  It is the UK market leader in chilled food distribution providing a full range of logistics services for the food retail and manufacturing sectors. This capability covers primary and secondary chilled services and solutions through their state of the art transport, warehousing and supply chain infrastructure.


NFT operates out of 7 strategically located warehouse platforms providing true national distribution capability to every UK retailer every day. Its warehouses are all system controlled providing unrivalled track and trace capability to secure product and brand provenance.  


NFT runs 450 satellite tracked articulated vehicles that deliver over 130,000 pallets of groceries each week, travelling daily to every major UK retailer, wholesaler and other outlets.


Through its wider network of activities NFT also provides extensive international coverage into and out of the UK, Europe and beyond.


It has developed a unique capability for solutions design and through this capability has developed a range of innovative value adding logistics products d

esigned to proactively drive costs out of its Customers supply chains.


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