UK’s largest container port, the Port of Felixstowe, has opened a new Berth 9 extension to enhance the capacity at the port.
The 190m-long extension will enable the port to handle two large containerships at the same time.
Port of Felixstowe CEO Clemence Cheng said: "The Berth 9 Extension represents the latest phase of development at the Port of Felixstowe.
"Our programme of continued investment has ensured that the UK remains a destination for direct calls by the latest generation of mega-ships."
The extended terminal, with quay length of about 920m, will be equipped with three new ship-to-shore gantry cranes capable of working vessels with containers stacked 10-high, and 24-wide, on deck.
The entire port currently has 36 cranes and both Berths 8 and 9 combined have ten cranes.
The port’s Berths 8 and 9 opened in 2011 and features of 730m of quay.
The House of Commons MP and deputy leader Dr Therese Coffey said: "I am delighted to formally open this latest extension of the Port of Felixstowe.
"An ever increasing proportion of UK trade is moving on these huge container ships and UK ports need to provide the facilities they require.
"Felixstowe was the first port in the UK to handle these vessels and this latest development will help ensure UK exports reach overseas markets in the most efficient way possible."
The Port of Felixstowe handles 44% of all UK container traffic with nearly 80 ships of 18,000 handled this year.
The UK Government’s National Infrastructure plan includes investments to enhance both road as well rail connectivity to the port.
Additionally, the port authority plans for a new £200m Berth 10 at the port to increase the capacity further to handle mega-ships operating on world’s major trade routes.
The port targets to deliver container handling capacity of 6 million TEUs in a year by 2020 and an additional 2 million TEUs within the Harwich Haven by 2030.
Image: The opening ceremony for the Berth 9 extension. Photo: courtesy of Port of Felixstowe