The boss of a Suffolk logistics firm has said firms are continuing to re-route their deliveries through other UK ports in anticipation of further strike action at Felixstowe.

However, the port has now said the bargaining process with the Unite union is "now closed without an agreement" and has written to portworkers to say they will be paid the final offer.

Stuart Ager, who runs Bury St Edmunds-based Century Logistics, said there had been the expected surge as delayed containers started to filter through Felixstowe following the end of the eight-day walkout by port workers on August 29.

But he added: “The reality is that this strike is going to be the first and customers are looking at where they are going with their containers.

“We are getting back to normal, to about 120 containers a week, but there are some customers who are continuing to route their deliveries through Southampton.”

In a letter to hourly workers at the port, seen by the EADT, chief operating officer Robert Ashton has revealed that talks with the workers’ union Unite have ended without a resolution to the situation.

East Anglian Daily Times: Unite general secretary Sharon Graham with the striking Felixstowe port workersUnite general secretary Sharon Graham with the striking Felixstowe port workers (Image: PA)

He said the port would be implementing the planned 7% pay rise plus an additional £500, which led to the strike by the 1,900 hourly workers, with Unite seeking a 10% pay rise instead.

A separate group of 500 staff working in management, engineering or clerical roles voted to accept the company’s offer.

Mr Ashton said: “Unfortunately, the company has to conclude that we have exhausted all avenues to close a deal. The collective bargaining process with Unite for the 2022 pay round is therefore now closed without an agreement.”

Sharon Graham, general secretary of Unite, warned there could be further strikes following the end of the eight-day stoppage if the port failed to reconsider its position over the pay rise.

She said there would be a "small amount of time" following the end of the strike for the port to reconsider, after which a decision would be made on further industrial action, which could be "wider" in scale and "escalate".