News Release

20th October 2000

Port of Felixstowe Applies to Improve Capacity for Largest Container Ships


The Port of Felixstowe has submitted an application to the Government to construct a 270 metre extension to the current quayside at its Trinity Terminal. This will enable the Port to accept two of the latest generation large container vessels at the same time, significantly increasing the Port’s capacity, and allowing more flexible management of berthing at the Port.

The Port is one of the most efficient ports in Europe – operating well above the European average for efficient usage of both quayside and landside facilities. In 1999 Felixstowe handled 1,069 TEU (Twenty Foot Equivalent Units) across every metre of container quay, a figure unmatched by any other major European port. It is the UK’s largest container port, and handles 40% of the nation’s containerised trade – 2.7 million TEU in 1999. However, demand is increasing, and the Port must be in a position to respond to the competitive environment in which it operates.

The overall use of the largest container vessels is increasing rapidly on the world’s major trade lanes – there are currently 29 in service in the world, with an additional 119 being built. As European ports such as Rotterdam, Antwerp, Hamburg and Bremerhaven are increasing their facilities in response to these developments, Felixstowe must increase its capacity in order to maintain its competitive position.

As part of this latest expansion, the Port is planning to build an all-new Rail Terminal which will eventually double the Port of Felixstowe’s rail capacity. This will provide the potential to significantly reduce the proportion of traffic from the Port moving on to the nation’s roads network.

The Port of Felixstowe has planned the development with full regard to the environmental implications. A detailed Environmental Statement is being submitted with the application. The Port has a continuing commitment to the environment and has contributed more to environmental programmes than any other port in the UK.

Chris Gray, Managing Director of the Port of Felixstowe, commented:-

“The planned extension to the quayside at Felixstowe will enable us to make a step change in the facilities offered at the Port. The world’s container ships are increasing in size and we must be able to respond to our customers’ needs, otherwise we will lose out to other ports in Europe.”

The Port of Felixstowe is one of East Anglia’s-major employers, providing direct employment for 2,500 people. Over 19,000 people in total are employed in the transport industry in Suffolk, based around Felixstowe and the continued success of the Port is essential to both the national and regional economy.