25th September 2020 – The Port of Felixstowe has now closed due to high winds.

At this stage, the expected closure will last until around midday on Saturday 26th September, subject to improved weather conditions.

VBS (Vehicle Booking Slots) have been cancelled until further notice.

This closure will serve to further exacerbate the already challenging situation at Felixstowe – which is currently experiencing a high demand for both road and rail capacity.

The situation has been caused by a sharp spike in import container volumes, along with a high proportion of late vessel arrivals.

The weekly import volume for the last two weeks has been over 30% higher than average levels.

This is exacerbated by unusually high levels of empty containers at the port and the impact of the ongoing Covid-19 crisis on resource availability.

As a result, the port concedes that service standards are “not currently where we would like them to be”

The Port had already implemented measures to improve performance levels, including:

  • Increasing VBS booking availability to over 4,300 vehicles per day.
  • Opening on Sunday for haulage collection.
  • Working with customers to temporarily slow down and reduce the number of empty containers being returned to the port by rail and road, to reduce the demand on storage space.
  • Recruiting and training over 100 additional front line equipment drivers which had not been possible during lockdown.
  • Improving labour availability, and preparing for a possible second wave of Covid -19, by securing private testing for employees to minimise the period people need to self-isolate if they, or a family member, display symptoms.

Horizon International are working closely with our clients to find contingency options with a view to mitigating the impact of these severe delays and challenges.   Whilst the factors are completely out of our control, we will always endeavour to find the best available solution for our clients.

If you would like to discuss this matter or any other related issues with our team of experts,  please contact us –

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