Trade severely disrupted as Port of Felixstowe faces massive delays

Looking towards the sea, along the line of quays of the Port of Felixstowe Picture: MIKE PAGE

Looking towards the sea, along the line of quays of the Port of Felixstowe Picture: MIKE PAGE - Credit: Archant

Customers have been left frustrated as the Port of Felixstowe faces severe delays following the implementation of a new operating system.

Port of Felixstowe, berths eight and nine Picture: HUTCHINSON PORTS

Port of Felixstowe, berths eight and nine Picture: HUTCHINSON PORTS - Credit: Archant

The port is experiencing major delays and cancellations across all areas of operations – includidng rail, road and shipside container moves. It is understood that services have been slowed down while the port ‘fine-tunes’ its new system, which was introduced on Sunday.

When asked whether the problems could have been avoided, a spokesperson for the Port of Felixstowe said: “An extensive programme of training and preparation was undertaken before the new system went live. Nearly 2,000 staff have been trained, over 165 hours of live trials were completed and systems users were familiarised through computerised simulations. Since go-live, our staff are being supported by a team of experts including some from our head office in Hong Kong.”

It is hoped operations will soon return to normal.

The port stated: “We have seen improvements in the last 24 hours to both quay side productivity and land side turn around times. As a result, we are continuing to handle near-normal levels of road vehicles per day at the port, although at a slower rate than our usual high standards.

The port facilitates the movement of goods carried by 3,000 ships each year
Picture: STEPHEN WALLER

The port facilitates the movement of goods carried by 3,000 ships each year Picture: STEPHEN WALLER - Credit: Picture: Stephen Waller


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“We expect further improvement will be made in the coming days as our dedicated staff work tirelessly round the clock supported by a team of experts from our Head Office. We are confident that any short term glitches will be resolved and that operations will soon return to normal.

“We thank our customers for their understanding and patience and would like to apologise to any customers or port users who experienced delays.”

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The shipping company Maersk Line, which relies on the port to deliver services, said it was working closely with officials on site and would provide further updates as they were received.

The company added that its local operations and customer service teams were working together to inform individual customers of any impact to their cargo.

Felixstowe is the country’s biggest and busiest container port, facilitating the movement of goods carried by 3,000 ships each year. Around 30 shipping lines operate from the port, offering approximately 90 services to and from 400 ports around the world.

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