Shipspotters on the web ahoy

SHIPSPOTTERS who spend their days at Felixstowe's port viewing area waiting to see the world's biggest ships can now do a little surfing to pass the time.

By Richard Cornwell

SHIPSPOTTERS who spend their days at Felixstowe's port viewing area waiting to see the world's biggest ships can now do a little surfing to pass the time.

But instead of just carrying binoculars, radio and directory, the enthusiasts will need a new tool added to their kitbag – a laptop computer.

Shipspotters, the maritime world's anoraks who flock to the area alongside Landguard Terminal to watch the giant containerships arriving and departing, can now find all the details they need on-line.


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Instead of listening to the shipping channels on their radios, they can carry a laptop in the car and connect up via a mobile phone to the Port of Felixstowe's brand new website as they sit on the beach or at the viewing area.

The site – called Felixstowe Online and which can be found at www.portoffelixstowe.co.uk – now features constantly updated sailing times, giving the latest estimated arrivals for ships.

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The port previously had a website at www.port-of-felixstowe.co.uk but this has undergone extensive redevelopment by the port's information systems department, and is much more interactive than its predecessor.

New features in addition to the sailing schedule include a news section, photo library and an online version of the port's journal.

Paul Davey, corporate affairs manager of Hutchison Ports (UK) Ltd, owner of the Port of Felixstowe, said: "We are extremely pleased with the new-look Felixstowe Online. It has been our aim throughout to ensure that we maintain the existing features, while making the overall content even more informative and interesting.

"The internet provides a valuable tool that, if used correctly, can speed up and improve a range of business services.

"We will continue to develop the site and to make available an even greater range of practical information to port users."

The site has a number of unique features that are of direct and practical benefit to port users.

These include the haulier enquiry system, which enables shipping lines, agents, forwarders and hauliers to establish the area of the container yard in which their container is stored, and gain access to real-time information on the level of demand in that particular area.

The status of containers can also still be monitored using the secure Felixstowe Cargo Processing System (FCPS) Tracker, operated by MCP plc.

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