The UK’s second-busiest container port, Southampton, along with fellow DP World-operated UK box port London Gateway, hopes to return to ‘business as usual’ this month after intense inbound container traffic in recent months. The latter led to longer vessel dwell times and slower processing of inbound containers.
Ernst Schulze, UK CEO of DP World, told Lloyd’s Loading List lloydsloadinglist.com: “The UK is currently experiencing increased levels of inbound traffic into its port network. London Gateway and Southampton are operating effectively despite unprecedented inbound traffic. It is important to understand that having both ports operate at capacity does not mean that either has been or will become ‘congested’.”
A report last week found Felixstowe to be the worst performer among key competitors in Europe and Asia in the first three quarters of 2020, with turnaround times up to eight hours longer than the 24 hours seen typically elsewhere. Lifts were said to be down to only 20 an hour, compared with 27 achieved in the north Continent range such as Antwerp and Bremerhaven, according to a report in the Financial Times. Southampton scored below average on minutes per container move, but was better than average on time vessels spent in port.