Felixstowe: Consultants’ report favours Suffolk port over London Gateway

Work taking place on the quaysides at the Port of Felixstowe.

Work taking place on the quaysides at the Port of Felixstowe. - Credit: Archant

Experts have given Britain’s biggest port a significant boost in its battle for business with its newest rival.

Fears have been expressed that the Port of Felixstowe could lose customers to London Gateway when the new £1.5billion terminal opens this year.

The new deep-sea container port, owned by DP World, is known to have been targeting Felixstowe’s – and other port’s – customers for some time in its bid to win business.

However, a report from consultants MDS Transmodal commisioned by Felixstowe claims the Suffolk port will be up to £25 per box cheaper than London Gateway, which could save £50,000 on a large vessel’s visit.

MDS Transmodal said: “Even where a shipping line offers a shipper the same rate quay to quay, the shipper should still make a saving of £8 per container on inland costs.”

Advantages included faster transport times, less road congestion, cheaper navigation dues and a 76-mile shorter sea journey for ships also visiting other European ports.

Gateway has been keen pushing its advantages, especially its huge logistics park.

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Felixstowe chief executive officer Clemence Cheng said evidence gathered by MDS Transmodal clearly demonstrated the port’s location, scale and rail links gave it a significant cost advantage for importers and shipping lines over other ports.

Transport secretary Patrick McLoughlin said: “I don’t necessarily think that we should be looking at it as a bad thing for Felixstowe, competition is a good thing. The truth is world trade is growing and it is important we are in a position to make the most use of it.”