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Shipping line concerns over IT problems at Felixstowe Port

Saturday, 16 June 2018 | 00:00

Shipping lines are looking at moving some business from the UK’s biggest container port, which has been hit by delays caused by IT problems.

Tilbury port said it had been contacted by companies looking for an alternatives to Felixstowe.

The Port of Felixstowe said talk of diverting ships was not unusual.

While the Felixstowe Port Users’ Association told the BBC that the situation was improving with 60% of containers being loaded within an hour.

On Wednesday, lorry drivers complained of tailbacks of up to 16 hours after the IT system was introduced on Sunday.

One shipping line, that did not wish to be named, told the BBC cranes that normally handled 24 containers an hour, were at present only handling about eight an hour.

A spokesman from London Container Terminal in Tilbury said: “We have been approached by a number of shipping lines seeking alternative options to Felixstowe.”

Jason Flower, chairman of Felixstowe Port Users’ Association said there were more vehicles getting off the port now.

But he said there was “still an issue with some containers… 20% of them are taking more than three hours and some are taking five hours”.

He added: “We are pressing the port to put more people on the service desk but it is better.”

‘Stable and reliable’
A spokesman for Felixstowe port operator Hutchison Ports said one or two ships may have been diverted, but diversions are not that unusual.

He said earlier: “The new system is operating across our container and rail terminals after a successful migration of data on Sunday.”

The IT system is already in use at 25 Hutchison Ports around the world, the spokesman added.

“It will provide a stable, reliable and consistent level of performance for our customers for many years to come,” he said.

He thanked people using the port for their “cooperation and understanding during this time”.
Source: BBC

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