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Update - UK Port Operations

We urge all customers to place bookings as soon as possible to minimize any incidences.

During the last few months, container shipments to the UK have been subject to significant delays and additional costs.

The autumn usually brings weather related delays, due to the sea conditions at the Biscay area. Additionally, there are several operational challenges mainly affecting the port of Felixstowe and starting to affect other ports in the UK.

Productivity Issues

During summer and due Covid-19 pandemic, many Felistowe workers have been on furlough. Workers have been returning during the last few months, however Covid-19 infections and self isolation, as well as sanitizing measures at the port, are all contributing to lower productivity levels.

At the same time there has been a surge in Far East volumes, with significant discharges at Felixstowe. The reduced manpower and low productivity lead to a increase of empty containers at port.

Haulage issues

The vehicle booking system used by hauliers in Felixstowe has been overwhelmed, and hauliers are struggling to get slots to pick up containers. This causes delays and lower productivity in haulage, which further impacts haulage availability and reduction of laden containers on the ports.


The current congestion scenario at Felixstowe is having a domino effect at local depots in Felixstowe area, inland depots and other ports, like Tilbury and Liverpool which are starting to slow down. It is likely this situation does not improve until end of 2020.

Several ocean carriers are increasing container rates to UK ports as well as implementing port congestion surcharges.

For any additional information, talk to us

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