Delays and Disruptions Continue at the Port of Felixstowe

Delays and disruptions continue to be experienced at Felixstowe, the UK’s biggest container port, months after a new terminal operating system (TOS) was installed.  The challenges being experienced at the terminal include below-target vessel and rail loading performance, inaccurate data about the location of containers in the yard, and rail misses.

The disruption to service has caused several carriers to divert ships to other facilities in London Gateway and Southampton for relay by feeder or main line vessels.  Other shipping lines have instituted a cut-and-run policy, whereby the ship leaves the dock before all containers have been fully loaded or discharged, or have completely cancelled port calls altogether.  The costly and timely impact is not only being felt by supply chains in the UK, but also by customers in North European, Baltic, and Scandinavian ports as vessel schedules are being seriously disrupted.

In an update issued on August 7, the port announced that the performance of the TOS has been “stable over the last few weeks” after the introduction of a number of system upgrades and efforts are on-going to enhance and improve productivity across all areas of the operation.  However, the port admitted that the TEU volume handled at the quay remains well below expectations.

The port thanked its customers for their support during this difficult period and apologized for any delays or inconvenience suffered.  “We are maintaining our focus on productivity improvements to ensure that all customers receive the level of service they deserve,” the port said.  “We expect these important upgrades to bring our productivity to levels before the implementation of the new system”.

Visit the Port of Felixstowe’s website at for more information and future updates.


The Port of Felixstowe is Britain’s biggest and busiest container port, and one of the largest in Europe.

The port handles more than 4 million TEUs (Twenty-foot Equivalent Units) and welcomes approximately 3,000 ships each year, including the largest container vessels afloat today – crucially, the port provides some of the deepest water close to the open sea of any European port.  Around 17 shipping lines operate from Felixstowe, offering approximately 31 services to and from 709 ports around the world.