The port handled 23.3m tonnes of goods in January to June this year – a 1.3 per cent rise on the figure for the first half of last year, the Port of London Authority (PLA) said.
In the whole of 2009, London handled 45m tonnes, 14 per cent down on 2009 and the lowest annual amount since 1992.
“This result is consistent with the modest recovery in economic activity that we have seen since the middle of last year,” said PLA chief executive Richard Everitt.
Coal trading fell by a staggering 67.8 per cent to 0.2m tonnes during the last six months, while aggregate trades, including sand and gravel, dropped 14.8 per cent to 3.1m tonnes.
Everitt said the fall in aggregate trades was consistent with the continual low levels of construction activity, while containers and other unitised cargoes, including lorry trailers, showed strong growth pointing to London as a centre for trade.
PLA, which contributes £3.7bn to the economy every year, said public sector cuts made it impossible to predict full-year trade figures.