Port of Felixstowe is looking to expand its recently opened berth 9, so it can offer the capacity of simultaneously unloading two 18,000 TEU vessels, that the shipping companies are introducing at the moment. It may seem strange that after completing a new expansion that the port of Felixstowe would then look at expanding that area further but when the proposal for this expansion was submitted shipping lines hadn’t indicated that they would be looking at vessels around the size they are now. Another factor contributing to the further growth of the new terminal is the Port of Felixstowe’s increased usage for the shipping trade lines, as it is fast becoming the chosen destination for all major shipping companies on their call into the UK, and this trend is no set to change anytime soon.
The new project to expand the area is to further accommodate the shipping companies new super vessels; the planned expansion will include a new quay wall and dredging the ports seabed to expand approach lines. The planned timescale for the project is to begin at the start of next year and take a total of 11 months to complete. The local council has already accepted the new proposal for the further expansion, so the work is pretty much guaranteed to go ahead.
All this news has come in the midst of the ports celebration of handling their 70 millionth TEU. The MSC shipping companies vessel, the MSC Bertha, was the lucky vessel to accept the container that bared such a milestone for the Port of Felixstowe. The UK secretary of State for Transport Patrick McLoughlin had the honour of loading the container, obviously under the supervision of a trained operator. The Port of Felixstowe had another exceptional year in 2012 as it handled record volumes of 3.7m TEU, which proved to be a year on year growth of 8.8%.