Maersk Begins Diverting Vessels From Felixstowe Port As Congestion Worsens

Port of Felixstowe, the largest port in the United Kingdom is amidst an unprecedented congestion, primarily attributed to the shortage of truck drivers in the UK, as the annual influx of Christmas goods begin to surge across the world.

Maersk Begins Diverting Vessels From Felixstowe Port As Congestion Worsens
Representational Image | Courtesy: Maersk

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Owing to this, A.P. Moller – Maersk has relocated its ME7 Westbound call from Felixstowe to London Gateway, a relatively new deep water container port on the Thames. Containerships bound from India’s Chennai to Europe will now be docked at London Gateway, instead of the Port of Felixstowe, as the ongoing congestion is causing “significant disruption”.

The world’s biggest shipping company, in a customer advisory, said, “In view of ongoing berth congestion and resulting delays in Felixstowe, by provisionally diverting the vessels that are currently waiting and bringing our customers cargo back on smaller vessels, we expect to minimize the current delays our customers are experiencing.”

W Klaipeda, the 6,802 TEU vessel, which is currently sailing in the Mediterranean region will be the first vessel to be relocated. It is expected to arrive at the London Gateway on Monday, 1st November, 2021.

The Port of Felixstowe is responsible for handling about 36% of UK’s entire freight container traffic. Along with the shortage of truck drivers, the port authorities have also blamed pre-Christmas peak, poor vessel scheduling, haulage services and the impact of the pandemic for the ongoing congestion.

Related News: Ever Given Arrives At The Felixstowe Port After Unloading In Rotterdam

Industry bodies in the UK estimate a shortage of about 100,000 truck drivers in the country. The government has recently drafted military personnel to help in delivering fuel and issuing temporary visa to foreign drivers in an emergency basis.

Factors like European drivers going home during pandemic, tax changes, Brexit and more can help explain this shortage of Heavy Goods Vehicle (HGV) driver shortage.

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