Warning over Felixstowe port

BOSSES at Britain's busiest container terminal have told workers it is one of the worst performing ports in the developed world, it was revealed today.

BOSSES at Britain's busiest container terminal have told workers it is one of the worst performing ports in the developed world, it was revealed today.

Executives have given staff a hard-hitting warning that unless the port pulls its socks up quickly, it could lose business to its biggest UK rival.

Profits have already decreased over the past seven years, leading to fears that its investors will turn away and if the situation does not change soon its £240 million redevelopment and expansion project could be in jeopardy.

But port workers have been assured their jobs are safe, with more people will be taken on in the New Year, and they are not being asked to take a pay cut or work more hours.


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Chief operating officer David Gledhill has written to more than 2,700 staff at the port to highlight the seriousness of the situation it is facing so action can be taken now before it is too late.

Officials have stressed the letter has been sent to every single employee and is not a finger-pointing exercise.

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One of the major concerns is the recently announced plans by Southampton to double its container-handling capacity.

Despite being refused permission to expand into Dibden Bay it has been looking at other options ever since and is to change car import berths into container areas, which it believes it can do quickly and cheaply without the need for a public inquiry.

Mr Gledhill said in his letter: “It was not many years ago that the Port of Felixstowe was an example of how a business should work.

“It is very sad to say that we are now one of the worst performing ports in the developed world.

“It is up to you whether we return to that top spot or whether we slowly and painfully fail!

“The actions we take now will have a real and meaningful impact on the future of the port and all of us who work here.”

WEBLINK: www.portoffelixstowe.co.uk

Are you a portworker - what do you think of the letter? Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN, or e-mail EveningStarLetters@eveningstar.co.uk

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