WATCH: Haulage boss films video diary of VBS nightmare at Port of Felixstowe
PUBLISHED: 07:30 27 October 2020 | UPDATED: 16:27 27 October 2020
© Stephen Waller
A disgruntled haulage boss has made a video diary showing the alleged problems with the Port of Felixstowe booking system.
Adam Searle, managing director of CP Transport, says he has been struggling to run his business in recent weeks due to the continued trouble with booking slots.
He has even gone to the lengths of filming a video diary showing himself logging into the vehicle booking system (VBS) every hour throughout the night in an attempt to get his lorries on to the port.
This comes after other haulage firms from around Suffolk said booking VBS slots had become a full-time job. One haulier said the experience was putting people under “unnecessary strain”.
A port spokesman said: “Volumes at all UK container ports are very high and demand for bookings remains strong but we have further increased the number available on Trinity terminal this week and there are unused bookings on both terminals.”
Despite this reassurance hauliers claim the majority of unused VBS slots are unusable as they are on the Landguard terminal.
Mr Searle said he was suffering “physically, emotionally and financially” because of the system.
“Anyone that’s under a £10million turnover threshold as a haulage company is probably in a similar boat to myself,” he said.
“We’re struggling to operate a trade and provide a service to our customers.
“It’s been a very difficult year because of coronavirus. I think there’s going to be a lot of companies that will fold in the first six months of next year.”
Mr Searle says he needs between 250-300 VBS slots a week in order to run his business effectively.
“I get them,” he said. “But I have to use desperate measures.
“I have to employ additional night men to preload lorries, or I run late on my customers deliveries.
“Normally we get there, but on the very odd occasion we really fail.”
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