For the third time in two months the Hutchinson Port of Felixstowe has broken its own record for the most containers handled on a single ship. MSC AMELIA left port in early March with 27,961 standard containers aboard. This is some way ahead of Moscow Maersk with a load of 25,852 the previous week, or the 23,773 loaded onto the MSC DILETTA in January. All three ships operate on the Far East Asia to North Europe shipping service.
But Robert Ashton, COO at Felixstowe recognises that the bigger ships coming to the port challenge port resources. Accordingly, the port is investing in more people, infrastructure, systems and equipment to cope with the extra volume as well as the ultra-large ships on the World’s trade routes.
Bigger ships need deeper water, and dredging is currently underway to increase the depth of the main approach channel 14.5 metres to 16 metres. The work should be completed by 2023. Deep Water Berths 6 and 7 will be dredged to 16.5 metres and Berths 8 and 9 will be increased to a depth of 18 metres in 2022.
Hutchison Ports Port of Felixstowe is strategically located on the UK’s South East coast and within easy reach of major ports in North West continental Europe. As the UK’s first purpose-built container-handling facility, it is also the largest and busiest container port in the country. With three rail terminals, it also has the busiest and biggest intermodal rail freight facility in the UK. The latest phase of development, Berths 8&9, provides additional deep-water capacity for the world’s largest container ships.
Hutchison Ports Port of Felixstowe is a member of Hutchison Ports, the port and related services division of CK Hutchison Holdings Limited. Hutchison Ports is the world’s leading port investor, developer and operator with a network of port operations in 52 ports spanning 26 countries throughout Asia, the Middle East, Africa, Europe, the Americas and Australasia. Over the years, Hutchison Ports has expanded into other logistics and transportation-related businesses, including cruise ship terminals, distribution centres, rail services and ship repair facilities.
Felixstowe is among the ports that have been handling high container volumes following disruption, brought in part by the coronavirus pandemic.