Shipping giant gets special deal

SHIPPING giant Maersk is one of Felixstowe dock's most important customers so it is quite understandable that port bosses should want it to agree a long-term deal.

SHIPPING giant Maersk is one of Felixstowe dock's most important customers so it is quite understandable that port bosses should want it to agree a long-term deal.

It is also reasonable for the company to expect favourable terms from the port in agreeing a long-term deal.

However this news could cause waves of irritation from other port users - at busy times ships are stacked up waiting for a berth or waiting to be unloaded.

How will other companies feel if it looks as if Maersk is “queue-jumping” while their vessels are having to wait in the mouth of the Orwell?


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Of course port bosses will be hoping that this deal prompts other companies to follow Maersk's line and get similar agreements tying them to Felixstowe for the long term.

But of course there are only so many deals that can be agreed - the port can't offer “preferential” terms to everyone and if it offers too many it just makes everyone else feel like second class customers.

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So the stability offered by this important deal is very welcome, but the port bosses need to tread carefully before extending this kind of contract.

NO one has cast a closer eye on ambulance services in Suffolk than The Evening Star.

Our Ambulance Watch campaign started in the mid-1990s as a result of serious problems with then newly-formed regional trust.

Things have improved immeasurably since then - and the latest figures confirm how well the service is now performing.

The East of England Ambulance Service may be operating below the national average, but it is exceeding its targets and given the rural nature of much of the area it is doing very well generally.

It is always going to take an ambulance longer to reach an emergency in Bawdsey or Battisford than it is to reach someone in Piccadilly Circus or Pall Mall.

But given those constraints, our ambulance service can be proud of its achievements over the last 10 years - although it must, of course, guard against any danger of allowing complacency to creep in.

A YEAR after it looked as if he was on his way back to Portman Road, it seems that finally Richard Wright is about to return to his home-town club.

Last summer he decided that the lure of Premier League megabucks and the offer of a comfortable seat on the West Ham bench was more attractive than a step back to the Championship.

12 months and a loan spell at Southampton later - a clear indication that West Ham didn't see him as a challenger to Robert Green - he has apparently decided he would rather come back to the club where he made his name and where he is still highly regarded by fans.

Town fans will be hoping today that Wright, who should now be in his prime as a goalkeeper, will be able to recapture the form of his halcyon days which saw him make the England team and be regarded as this country's best goalkeeping prospect for years.

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