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Displaying items by tag: Blockage: Felixstowe

#Ports&Shippping - A UK ports operator, Peel Ports has said its Liverpool2 deep-water container terminal is ready to help clear the growing backlog of imported goods into the country caused by IT implementation problems in the south-east port of Felixstowe, Essex. 

According to Peel Ports, October is typically when retailers prepare stock levels for the Christmas rush, with the sector also gearing up for Black Friday on November 23.

Felixstowe, the largest shipping terminal in the UK, has suffered serious backlogs in cargo loading and unloading since June, after an unsuccessful roll-out of a new IT system that shows little sign of improvement. Incoming vessels can currently be waiting at anchor offshore for six days.

While some shipping operators have diverted cargos to other south-east terminals – Southampton and London Gateway – these are also feeling the impact caused by delays at Felixstowe. The backlog is now reportedly causing a knock-on impact on European carriers and terminals.

Liverpool2 was a £400 million investment by Peel Ports to create a deep-water container terminal capable of handling all vessels in the global fleet.

Haulage congestion – and subsequent premiums being levied by road transport firms – has added to the difficulties caused by the Felixstowe IT failure. Booking a haulage slot can currently take two weeks in Felixstowe and Southampton. During this time, containers have to remain on the port, where they are incurring rent charges.

However, approximately 60% of containers which enter UK ports are destined for the West Midlands or further north, making Liverpool a more efficient port of entry – it would also remove an estimated one million trucks from the road each year, and more than 1600 freight trains from the rail network, reducing related diesel emissions.

In addition, 35 million people in the UK and Ireland – more than half of the total population – live closer to Liverpool than south-east container ports.

Major shipping lines MSC and Maersk are already using Liverpool2 for UK containerised cargo and the Port of Liverpool has experienced an 8.7% year-to-date growth in all containerised traffic.

Mark Whitworth, chief executive of Peel Ports, said: “The arduous situation in the UK retail sector is well-documented. The last thing it needs is to be unnecessarily hobbled by a logistics crisis with no end in sight. This is an avoidable situation and we would urge shipping lines, forwarders and cargo owners, to talk to us about how we can get their cargo moving again rather than having to face a delay that shows no sign of abating.

“Peel Ports is ready to welcome cargo destined for the UK as well as shipments bound for international destinations from the UK, and we have ample capacity to do so. Liverpool2 was developed specifically for large deep-water cargo vessels. With a growing proportion of the UK’s logistics and warehousing facilities based in the North and the Midlands, there are multiple benefits to containers arriving in Liverpool.”

Published in Ports & Shipping
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