The largest UK port, which has just announced plans to double port capacity, had to close this morning due to strong winds affecting operations.
Cranes and loading equipment cannot safely be used at Felixstowe while strong winds persist, so lorries are unable to enter or exit the port until they subside. Operation ‘Stack’, in which lorries have to park up on the former A45 in the small Suffolk village of Levington, is in effect and expected to stay in force today (Tuesday) and possibly into tomorrow.
“We put Operation ‘Stack’ into effect at about 7am this morning but we’ve been open intermittently as winds drop,” said Paul Davey, head of corporate affairs for Hutchison Ports/Port of Felixstowe. “We are managing to service some vehicles. There are no vehicles in the stack at the moment.”
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Davey declined to predict when Operation ‘Stack’ would be lifted but advised, “Winds are forecast to continue to decline for the rest of the day.”
Felixstowe handles more than 3.7 million teu and in excess of 3,000 ships each year. Around 30 shipping lines, offering about 90 services to and from 400 ports worldwide, operate from the port.