The Port of London had its worst year for trade since 1992 last year.
Terminals handled 45.4m tonnes of cargo in 2009 – 14 per cent less than in 2008.
The most significant decline was with containers and lorry trailers – which were down 16 per cent.
Port of London Authority chief executive Richard Everitt, said it was “inevitable” 2009 would be tough.
But on a more upbeat note he said the £1.5bn London Gateway in Essex would catapault trade back over 50m tonnes.
“Our focus during 2009 was on developing our operations for the future – trialling a more efficient harbour patrol launch and starting an extensive improvement programme for our port control operation.
"We are preparing for the upturn and continuing to work to create the conditions for use of the river to flourish.”