THE Port of Tilbury was presented with its own Olympic Torch to recognise the crucial role it played in “the greatest games ever.”
Tilbury was used as the largest of two logistic centres serving the London 2012, in what has been called the biggest peacetime logistics operation in the country’s history.
The port housed everything from sporting equipment used in Olympic events, to furniture in the athletes’ village, as well as props for the opening and closing ceremonies including the boat Rhianna “sailed” in on during the Paralympic closing ceremony.
The warehousing covered more than five million square feet, and by the time July arrived, millions of items for the Games had passed through the port.
At a special ceremony in Tilbury this afternoon, Mick Wright, head of logistics for the London Organising Committee of the Olympic and Paralympic Games, told proud staff at the port how the event wouldn’t have been the same without them.
He said: “We had fantastic people working for us and with us throughout the games, personally I think we had the best team that’s ever been assembled to deliver the games, and I include all the guys at the Port of Tilbury in that.
“We knew we’d have to go through a lot of detailed preparations and planning, and the Port of Tilbury was instrumental in helping us to do that planning.”
Speaking about why LOCOG chose Tilbury to be its main logistics hub three years ago, Mr Wright said: “We knew the Port of Tilbury was keen to be involved in the Olympics, we saw great space, great support and great flexibility.
“Now we sit this side of the games and everybody is looking back saying, that’s the greatest games ever.
“This torch is an iconic symbol of the games and we are absolutely delighted to present it to the Port of Tilbury to thank you for everything you did to make sure the games were a massive success.”
Perry Glading, chief operating officer at Forth Ports, which owns the Port of Tilbury, said playing a major part in the games was “inspirational”.
He added: "We have been very proud of our association with the success of the London Olympics.
“ Everyone was committed to making the Games a success and it is the way we like to approach all business – listening to what is required and taking decisive action to deliver solutions.
“I would like to thank LOCOG for choosing Tilbury as their Logistics Hub and congratulate the team on the innovation and subsequent success of all they achieved.”
LOCOG still has some of the equipment used at the Games in storage, but will hand the warehouse back to the port later this month.
As well as housing all the equipment, the Olympic Torch Relay preparations also took place at the port, with all the associated cars, lorries and vehicles being parked with maximum security at the port, overseen by the port police.
It was also a regular host of training and LOCOG forums at the Cruise Terminal facility.
The port’s Olympic Torch will be displayed in the reception area of its Leslie Ford House.