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No Need to Panic Buy for Christmas, Britain Says after Port Chaos

13th October 2021
Britains Biggest 'Box' Port: Maersk, the world's largest container shipping company, has diverted some vessels away from the English Port of Felixstowe, which handles 36% of the UK's containerised freight. Above: Mette Maersk an E-class (18,000TEU) containership berthed at the east coast port in Suffolk on the North Sea, where Afloat adds global trade routes include the major Europe-Asia services via the Suez Canal. Britains Biggest 'Box' Port: Maersk, the world's largest container shipping company, has diverted some vessels away from the English Port of Felixstowe, which handles 36% of the UK's containerised freight. Above: Mette Maersk an E-class (18,000TEU) containership berthed at the east coast port in Suffolk on the North Sea, where Afloat adds global trade routes include the major Europe-Asia services via the Suez Canal. Credit: Jehan Ashmore

The British Government said today that people should buy normally for Christmas and that there would be no shortage of gifts after shipping containers carrying toys and electrical goods were diverted from the UK's biggest port because it was full.

As RTE News reports, Maersk, the world's largest container shipping company, has diverted some vessels away from the Port of Felixstowe because there is nowhere left to stack containers at the port amid an acute shortage of truck drivers.

"I'm confident that people will be able to get their toys for Christmas," Conservative Party Chairman Oliver Dowden said when asked about problems at Felixstowe port.

He said he was sure Christmas gifts would be delivered this year.

Dowden, who is a cabinet minister without portfolio in the Cabinet Office, said the situation was improving at the port and that the issues facing the world's fifth largest economy were global - such as a shortage of truckers and port congestion.

"The situation is improving," Dowden said of the situation at Felixstowe, which handles 36% of the UK’s containerised freight.

When asked whether or not people should start to buy now for Christmas, he said: "I would say just buy as you do normally."

Published in Ports & Shipping
Jehan Ashmore

About The Author

Jehan Ashmore

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Jehan Ashmore is a marine correspondent, researcher and photographer, specialising in Irish ports, shipping and the ferry sector serving the UK and directly to mainland Europe. Jehan also occasionally writes a column, 'Maritime' Dalkey for the (Dalkey Community Council Newsletter) in addition to contributing to UK marine periodicals. 

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