The Port of Felixstowe in the United Kingdom (UK) has responded to growing criticism of its cargo operations and its vehicle booking system (VBS) in particular saying that it is taking measures to rectify the system.
Hauliers and their representatives had asked for government intervention into difficulties which have seen hauliers say that they cannot gain access to either deliver or pick up cargo at the port since the VBS was installed as part of the new Terminal Operating System at the east coast UK port.
A Port of Felixstowe representative told Container News, “Covid-19 has created challenges across all parts of the supply chain. This was less of an issue when volumes were low but in recent weeks we have seen a sharp increase in throughput which has put pressure on resources at the port and within the supply chain, in particular the haulage sector.”
Heavy volumes ahead of China’s Golden Week have seen the resources at the port stretched and in response, the port, which is owned and operated by Hong Kong’s global terminal operating company Hutchison Port Holdings, said, “We are recruiting additional workers and sub-contractors and have introduced changes to our VBS booking system and made more bookings available for hauliers. We have continued to engage with port users and kept the Government fully informed.”
Hauliers and other port users have been complaining of congestion at Felixstowe for some months, while the introduction of the VBS in 2018 was seen as a major cause of the port congestion.