Sunday 18th Nov, 2018

British forwarders have a beef with Felixstowe


UK FORWARDERS still face “significant problems” at the port of Felixstowe following the introduction of a new terminal operating system, the British International Freight Association says.


In a statement published online, port management stated that “over the last few weeks the performance of our new terminal operating system has been stable”.

“We have already introduced a number of system upgrades which stabilise and improve our productivity in the last few weeks,” the statement read.

“We expect these important upgrades to bring our productivity to levels before the implementation of the new system.”

BIFA director general Robert Keen said members still faced “significant problems at the port with shipping lines cancelling calls; or operating a cut-and-run policy, where the ship leaves before all containers that are booked are loaded, or discharged”.

“Those members are also experiencing knock-on effects at other UK ports where vessels are being diverted, causing additional cost and disruption,” Mr Keen said.

Mr Keen said BIFA had previously expressed its disappointment that the port authority did not consider BIFA members to be direct customers of the port, and would not be willing to have a discussion about possible compensation.

“We have made it clear to the port authority that BIFA believes that many of its members are the port’s customer for the terminal processes that it undertakes after a vessel has been discharged for imports and prior to loading for export traffic,” Mr Keen said.

Felixstowe is the largest container port in the United Kingdom and is owned by Hutchison Port Holdings.

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