A.P. Moller – Maersk has relocated its ME7 westbound call from Felixstowe to London Gateway to mitigate the effects of the ongoing congestion and port disruptions.
The first vessel/voyage to be relocated is the W Klaipeda, which has an ETA at London Gateway on Monday November 1 at six pm.
In a customer advisory, Maersk 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 minimise the current delays our customers are experiencing.”
The relocation of the ME7 service is among several short-term structural changes to the company’s network to help its customers’ cargo where it needs to be.
Over the past few weeks, the Port of Felixstowe has experienced heavy congestion mainly attributed to the lack of truck drivers in the UK as retailers begin to stock up for the Christmas period.
For the second time since the disruptions began, Maersk had to notify its customers that it could not accept empty returns at the Port of Felixstowe on October 14, opening once again on October 15.
However, Maersk advised its customers that it was important that empty flows continued to be reduced at Felixstowe and that it would continue to accept empty returns to other locations.
Maersk sourced additional storage at the Port of Tilbury as part of its empty evacuation plan.
As the situation evolves daily, the company aims to work closely with all involved stakeholders in the local supply chain to help alleviate the situation.
Maersk noted that it would continue to rely on rail as “the backbone of our inland UK operations2 and that it remained committed to limiting the impact on its customers’ businesses.
Having the ability to move a high number of containers in one go from port to a proximity of final customer destinations would support the company’s efforts to ensure a robust and reliable pipeline of inland capacity.
The use of rail will also offer the opportunity CO2 emissions, traffic jams and accidents, and will aid in lessening the knock-on effects of the port congestion.