SG Test Page COVID-19
At the Port of London Authority (PLA) we are doing all we can to minimise the impact of COVID-19 on our operations, so that essential fuel, food and other necessities continue to be available to families across London, the south east and more widely.
Ensuring the health and wellbeing of our teams is our primary concern and doing so will enable us to continue delivering our essential services. The principal operational steps we have taken to minimise the risk of the virus spreading to PLA employees include:
- the closure of our main port control centre and navigation centre at the Thames Barrier to non-essential visitors;
- revised working procedures to minimise pilots’ contact with other staff;
- checks to ensure vessels entering the port have submitted health declarations;
- further segregation for other key groups including boat crews, the navigation systems team, marine services personnel, our civil engineers and marine engineers;
- additional cleaning of handrail, doors, shared equipment and other shared space;
- all office-based support services such as legal and finance moving as far as possible to home working, with a skeleton office presence where essential; and
- appropriate arrangements for staff who fall into the identified vulnerable groups.
Our Executive Committee is meeting daily (using technology so this can be done remotely) to monitor and adjust our response to the developing situation.
The Port of London is one of the two largest ports in the UK by tonnage of goods handled. The services we provide are a key part of many supply chains, playing a vital role in all our daily lives. We will take further steps as the situation evolves to sustain our essential services, working closely with our customers, the UK Government, London Port Health Authority and other key stakeholders.
In line with Government guidelines, all large stakeholder events we had planned for the next 12 weeks have been cancelled or postponed. We will be using online channels to maintain dialogue, and share information, with stakeholders in the meantime.
To learn more about the London Port Health Authority's response to the coronavirus pandemic, click here.
9 April: An Easter film message from the Port of London Authority: Since lock down, more than 1,000 ships have called on the Thames, where ports, terminals, shipping lines, towage companies, ourselves and many others are working together to keep the shelves stocked, fuel in the forecourts, medicines and other essentials supplied. The #PortofLondon is working, so you can #stayhome.
Vessels arriving included container ship, Massholm to London Gateway and Sophia N arriving to the Tate & Lyle refinery with a cargo of raw cane sugar from southern Africa. We continued to build resilience in our operations, with three marine river inspectors successfully completing training to also work as pilot cutter coxswains at Gravesend.
Vessels calling on the Thames included freight ferries operating on routes to Rotterdam and Zeebrugge; container ships arriving on services from Europe, the Far East and North America; and tankers from Germany and Finland.
We made key changes:
- Operational teams in Marine Services, Hydrographic Surveying and Civil Engineering, who provide support to ensure river safety through provision of services and systems, will operate an on-call service for essential work only.
- Harbour Service patrols in the upper district of the Thames (Teddington Lock to Putney) will cease; patrols in central London and downriver in the heart of the commercial port will continue.
- All office staff will work from home, with travel into the office only in exceptional circumstances and this is absolutely necessary for the continuing functioning of frontline services
Tidal Thames News