Plans for a huge deep water terminal on Teesside, which could create up to 7,000 jobs, have taken a step closer with the removal of the last objection.
It is hoped the development will create thousands of jobs
PD Ports wants to create a £300m deep-sea container terminal at its current facility at Teesport.
A public inquiry looked likely, after neighbouring firm Hutchison Ports, said it feared existing rail capacity could not handle more freight traffic.
PD Ports now plans to pay for upgrades to part of the East Coast Main Line.
Chief executive officer of PD Ports, David Robinson, said: "PD Ports has held a series of discussions with Hutchison about its concerns regarding capacity in the rail network for the increase of rail freight resulting from the proposed terminal at Teesport.
"As a result of those discussions PD Ports has decided to address Hutchison's concerns directly by contributing to the provision of upgrades to the East Coast Main Line and diversionary routes.
"Accordingly, Hutchison Ports (UK) Limited has removed its objection.
"This is a major step forward for us. We will now work with the Department for Transport, which has already confirmed the withdrawal of the last objection, to enable the Minister to make an early decision."
Alan Clarke, chief executive of regeneration agency One NorthEast, said: "Today's announcement is fantastic news, not only for PD Ports, but for the Tees Valley and North East.
"The terminal could deliver a further 1,000 jobs by 2014, as well as open up a number of new opportunities for development and investment in the region."