Port back on the big ships route

EXECUTIVES at Britain's biggest port have secured an important new contract to give the New Year a promising business boost.While cargo levels at Felixstowe have been up for the past few months, the container terminal still ended 2009 around five per cent down - not as bad though as first feared.

Richard Cornwell

EXECUTIVES at Britain's biggest port have secured an important new contract to give the New Year a promising business boost.

While cargo levels at Felixstowe have been up for the past few months, the container terminal still ended 2009 around five per cent down - not as bad though as first feared.

It has now been included for the first time on the schedule for Maersk Line's round the world AE7 Asia-Europe service.

The first vessel of the service, the Gjertrude Maersk, which carries 7,929 standard-sized boxes, called this week.

The biggest bonus of the new service is that other container ships which will also call include the world's largest cargo vessels, Emma Maersk and Estelle Maersk, able to carry around 12,000 boxes and which have already made numerous calls to Felixstowe while serving on other routes over the past three years.

Most Read

David Gledhill, chief executive officer of Hutchison Ports UK Ltd, which owns the Port of Felixstowe, said the inclusion of the port on the AE7 schedule is “a great vote of confidence” and strengthened its existing relationship with a very important customer, Maersk.

“Felixstowe is unique as the only UK port that can accommodate the world's largest container ships,” he said.

“We already have a capacity and capability that no other port in the UK, existing or planned, will be able to match.”

This year the port will increase its capacity even further when the first phase of the Felixstowe South development becomes operational.