Felixstowe Rail Volumes Down 23% After Port IT Issues

Image courtesy of the Port of Felixstowe.

The Port of Felixstowe has released an update on the “teething problems” that have affected service after the switchover to a new terminal operating system — stating that “good progress has been made” but there are continuing issues with the port’s load cycle.

The port in Suffolk, UK has experienced major delays after introducing Hutchison Port’s own modular terminal-management platform, nGen, on June 10, 2018 after “communication inconsistences” with the container yard damaged its performance.

The original issues led to lorry drivers at the port, the UK’s busiest container port, dealing with tailbacks of up to 16 hours.

In the release, the Port of Felixstowe stated that good progress has been made on many of the issues that were impacting vessel discharge rates and haulier turnaround times.

The port stated: “Although our discharge cycle is working at near pre-implementation productivity levels, we continue to experience issues in our load cycle, including both ship and train loading.

“This is affecting our overall productivity which resulted in a lower level of service being delivered to our customers with consequences further up the supply chain.

“Last week we handled slightly more volume across our quay than the week before and it represents approximately 90% of the average weekly volume pre system implementation.”

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Over the last week the port has handled a higher amount of road vehicles since the delays caused by the system changeover, however the port is still operating at a diminished capacity since the new system was implemented — with import rail volumes loaded onto trains at the port are currently at 77% of the previous weekly average volume.

Due to the significant delays at the port carriers Maersk and MSC have taken action to attempt to mitigate delays to their services, with Maersk deploying 100 additional trucks to cover haulage requirements at Felixstowe and diversion ports.

The statement from the port concludes: “Our focus and immediate priority now is on vessel and rail load cycles and yard efficiency.

“Our specialist teams, supported by experts from our Hong Kong head office, are working on the remaining issues to ensure that productivity across all areas is optimized in a controlled and systematic manner.

“The ongoing support of our customers during this difficult period has been greatly appreciated and we apologize to any port users who are continuing to experience delays and inconvenience.”

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