The £120m project is privately financed by the Harwich Haven Authority, one of the UK’s largest trust ports.
The approach channel and inner harbour will be deepened to a depth of 16 metres below Chart Datum metres from its current depth of 14.5 metres below Chart Datum. The additional depth in the harbour and seaward approaches will provide deep-water access for super-sized vessels.
More than 40% of the country’s container trade passes through Harwich Haven, on their way to and from commercial ports including Felixstowe, Ipswich and Harwich International.
The dredging is designed to futureproof the capabilities of Haven Port operators, particularly the UK’s largest container port, the Port of Felixstowe, and keep cargo moving.
The dredging project will start in the autumn of 2021 and take approximately 18 months.
Neil Glendinning, chief executive of the Harwich Haven Authority, said: “It’s a hugely significant project, not just for Haven port operators but for the wider UK economy. Currently, more than 40% of the UK’s containerised goods arrive in the Haven each year. It’s a vital trade gateway and our investment will ensure it continues to compete with other European ports.”