Serving the North Sea, Thamesport is located 56 kilometers east of London, and it is the third busiest container port in the United Kingdom. Thamesport lies on the Hoo Peninsula on the Isle of Grain where the River Medway meets the Thames estuary in south east England. The Isle of Grain is almost completely marshland and an important wetlands habitat. In 2001, just over 1700 people lived in the Isle of Grain.
London Thamesport was built in the early 1990s to provide a container port and commercial port hub linking the Port of London with trading partners in Europe, the Baltic, Africa, Middle and Far East, and the Americas.
In 1953, a large oil refinery was developed in the southern Isle of Grain where a fuel depot had existed since 1928. For several decades, the plant processed more than 10 million tons of crude oil a year. In 1982, the refinery was closed, and British Gas took over the plant, using only a quarter of the site to store liquefied natural gas.
In 1987, British Gas announced its plan to use about 87 hectares as a container port. Naming the project Thamesport, construction began in 1989, and by 1990, the project was capable of handing about 360 thousand TEUs of containerized cargo per year.
At first, land access was only by road, but the railway from Gravesend and a goods station with rail transshipment facilities opened in 1992. By 1995, the port had been expanded to handle about 635 TEUs a year.
In 1998, Hutchison Port Holdings, operating two other important British ports at Harwich and Felixstowe, purchased Thamesport. Developing Thamesport into a deep-water port in 2001, Hutchison dredged the basin to a minimum of 15.5 meters. In 2008, they changed the port’s name to London Thamesport.