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Congestion at UK's Biggest Containerport of Felixstowe Soared Following Eight-Day Strike Action

8th September 2022
Britain's biggest box port where congestion at the Port of Felixstowe has soared following the eight-day strike action. Above at the south-east England port is containership Maersk Mette which has a 18,000TEU capacity.
Britain's biggest box port where congestion at the Port of Felixstowe has soared following the eight-day strike action. Above at the south-east England port is containership Maersk Mette which has a 18,000TEU capacity. Credit: Jehan Ashmore

VesselsValue has highlighted that following the late-August walkout at the Port of Felixstowe due to pay disputes, some container operators were unable to make alternative voyage plans, leading wait times at the UK port to climb towards year highs.

Figure 1 (as Port Technology reports) shows that average waiting times tripled from 10 hours at the beginning of August to the 30 hour mark.

In the midst of supply chain congestion, in March boxes had to wait up to 40 hours to enter Felixstowe back in March.

Peter Williams, Trade Flow Analyst at VesselsValue notes, however, the current decrease in the waiting time suggests that the fallout from the most recent strike has reached its apex.

“With the accumulation of empty shoreside containers, the time taken for Felixstowe congestion to revert to normality will largely depend on how long it takes the port to process this backlog, something that retailers will be closely monitoring as they prepare for the festive spending period,” he wrote.

Recent waiting times reached similar congestion levels of August 2021, where container carriers such as Maersk skipped the East Anglian port.

More here on the UK's biggest containership port where there are threats of further strike action at Felixstowe.

While workers at the Port of Liverpool are to strike at the Irish Sea port between 19 September- 3 October.

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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