The Port of Felixstowe is celebrating yet another record for the number of containers handled by its two rail terminals. Volumes reached an all-time high in the week ending 9th September, when a total of 8,473 units were handled, breaking the previous record of 7,983, set in October 2005.
Rail volumes are due to remain at high levels for the coming months, and further record-breaking volumes are possible in the busy period running up to Christmas.
In response to the current high demand, the Port is currently holding discussions with four leading train operators to secure an additional daily service to operate out of the Port. The new service will be the 25th daily departure from the UK’s busiest container port.
Chris Lewis, Chief Executive Officer of Hutchison Ports (UK) Limited, which owns the Port of Felixstowe, commented:
“These record-breaking volumes are excellent news. We are dedicated to transporting as many containers as possible by rail, thus easing pressure on the country¡¦s road network. However, these record volumes, and the ever-increasing demand for rail, highlight the need to improve freight capacity on the railway network to enable us to sustain growth and maintain customer satisfaction.”
As part of the Felixstowe South development plans, the Port has agreed to undertake capacity improvements on the Felixstowe branch line, between Felixstowe and Ipswich. These proposals are to be the subject of a Public Inquiry, which will take place from 13th March 2007. It is intended that all improvements will be in place by 2009.