Maersk reroutes big cargo vessels away from Felixstowe, UK
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Maersk reroutes big cargo vessels away from Felixstowe, UK

13 Oct 2021 (Last Updated October 13th, 2021 16:05)

The Port of Felixstowe handles 36% of the UK’s containerised freight.

Maersk reroutes big cargo vessels away from Felixstowe, UK
According to the port, the busy pre-Christmas period and haulage shortages have contributed to the port’s backlog. Credit: John Fielding / commons.wikimedia.org.

Danish container shipping firm Maersk has reportedly started re-routing some of its biggest ships away from the UK’s Port of Felixstowe.

Due to congestion of containers at the port, the company’s ships have been diverted to other European ports, reported The Financial Times.

The company has arranged smaller vessels to transport deliveries to the UK from European ports.

Maersk global ocean network head Lars Mikael Jensen told BBC Radio 5 Live’s Drive programme that some of its biggest 20,000-container vessels were waiting outside Felixstowe for nearly four to seven days.

Jensen said: “We’ve taken those measures because we saw, because of the big ships, there is a limit to how many berths they can call in Felixstowe, and because its slower, it took longer to handle every ship.

“Instead of wasting time waiting, we progressed to the next stop, and arranged that the boxes are relayed from that port rather than wait for a week and then discharge.”

Port of Felixstowe, which is said to be the country’s largest commercial port, manages 36% of the UK’s containerised freight.

According to the port, the busy pre-Christmas period, haulage shortages, poor ship scheduling and the impact of the pandemic have resulted in the port’s backlog.

Meanwhile, the HGV driver shortage has decelerated the process of emptying and picking up containers.

In a separate development, John Swire and Sons has signed a partnership agreement with Mærsk Mc-Kinney Møller Center for Zero Carbon Shipping to collaborate on the development of sustainable decarbonisation solutions for the maritime sector.

In March, Environmental Defense Fund and Mærsk Mc-Kinney Møller Center for Zero Carbon Shipping signed a partnership agreement to collaborate and form long-term strategies for reducing emissions in the shipping industry