British freight forwarders have said problems at Felixstowe persist despite the port’s claim that the performance of its problematic new terminal operating system (TOS) is now ‘stable’.
According to the British International Freight Association (BIFA), shipping lines are cancelling calls or operating cut-and-run policies, meaning ships leave before all containers are loaded or discharged.
Robert Keen, director general of BIFA, said: “Members are also experiencing knock-on effects at other UK ports where vessels are being diverted, causing additional cost and disruption.”
Keen’s comments follow a recent announcement from Felixstowe that operations had been ‘stable’, handling 74,000 teu in consecutive weeks, although the port admitted it was continuing to fine tune the system.
In a statement the port said: “There are a number of focused upgrades to be delivered in the coming two weeks which will further enhance and improve productivity of the yard, thereby improving the loading of containers and continue to improve overall productivity across our shipside and landside operations.
“We expect these important upgrades to bring our productivity to levels before the implementation of the new system.”
However Keen has urged the port to engage BIFA in a discussion around possible compensation for the damage caused and increased costs its members have faced.