DP World has welcomed Europe’s largest quay cranes at its flagship London Gateway logistics hub, marking its latest investment to boost the country’s future trading capability.

Weighing more than 2,000 tonnes, the giant cranes will come into service at London Gateway’s new £350m fourth berth, set to open this summer.

Following a two-month journey from China, the quay cranes arrived at London Gateway over the weekend before successfully offloading on Wednesday. The cranes are expected to operate for a minimum of 25 years, making the arrival a rare event in the UK, and are sized to service the largest vessels currently in operation around the world – including 24,000 TEU containerships and even bigger vessels in the future.

Ahsan Agha, Vice President Port Operations at DP World London Gateway, said: “At a time when the pressure to manage costs, maintain reliability and improve speed has never been greater, DP World in the UK has been building a unique array of assets and suite of capabilities to help our customers stay competitive in a fast changing and unpredictable trading environment.

“While they naturally choose us for our growing capabilities, it’s also the quality of our service that makes our customers stay. Thanks to the capacity soon to be provided by the quay cranes and the new fourth berth, that service at London Gateway is future-proofed for years to come.”

The cranes are not only the largest in Europe but also the most advanced, having been fitted with the latest automation technology and can complete ‘tandem’ lifts, which involves the loading or unloading of two 40ft boxes or four 20ft boxes in a single move.

Another two quay cranes are expected to dock at London Gateway in early summer. These follow the arrival of the £56m automated stacking cranes (ASCs) and £12m electric straddle carriers, which are also set to go into operation at the new fourth berth.

In addition to its UK hubs at London Gateway and Southampton, DP World’s offer includes logistics, forwarding and European transport capabilities, all of which are being integrated into the company’s global network. Operating in 78 countries, DP World handles 10 per cent of world trade.