Felixstowe –the berth of a nation!

The news that the Port of Felixstowe is opening new berths to take the next generation of giant container ships and creating 1500 jobs into the bargain is reported as good news. In some ways I suppose it is, but in so many other ways, it isn’t.

The facts are staggering: at present, the large container ships regularly coming in and out of Felixstowe carry15,000 containers, whereas the container ships currently on order for certain shipping lines will take 18,000 containers. Only Felixstowe of all the UK ports will have the ability to take these larger ships.

This certainly keeps Felixstowe competitive with its mainland Europe rival ports and will enable the UK to keep up with shipping demands.

But, and it is a very big BUT, the news of the opening of the new berths was accompanied by the almost footnote fact that most of the containers coming into Felixstowe go out ‘empty’. In other words we have not got much at all to export!!

Felixstowe’s container port is the symbol of our economy: we can still achieve great things, but we can’t make and export much at all any more.

Neil Thomas

Published on Oct 05, 2011 by Neil Thomas