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Maersk global advisory regarding Felixstowe and current supply chain challenges

Aiming to keep you updated on the state of current logistics, we have for a few weeks been communicating the current constraints connected to the Felixstowe port situation. The UK is currently suffering from a lack of truck drivers which is causing several challenges, including terminal congestion in key ports with limited inland haulage options.

We are seeing increased consumer demand due to retailers stocking up for Christmas. Last week the port was forced to suspend the return of empty containers due to a very high yard density and increasing dwell times in the container yard. To ease the supply chain bottlenecks, we have asked you to divert the return of empty Maersk containers to alternative locations around the country. With limited options to discharge containers oceanside, we have also made the decision to temporarily divert certain vessels to alternative ports. Our plan is then to move the containers via smaller vessels to their intended destinations. In view of ongoing berth congestion and resulting berthing delays in Felixstowe, by provisionally diverting the vessels that are currently waiting and bringing our customers cargo back on smaller vessels, we expect to minimise the current delays our customers are experiencing.

Our immediate and top priority is to avoid further port congestion and disruptions for our customers as all constituents fight to normalise operations. Whilst the port has reopened their gates, it is imperative that we continue to reduce the empty flows at Felixstowe and we will continue to accept merchant haulage returns to other locations.

The integrity of our products is paramount to serving all our customers and we are working continuously to mitigate the felt impact for our customers and to ensure reliability in our operations. Starting tomorrow we will be making a number of short-term structural changes to our network to further mitigate the impact on global supply chains and ultimately help our customers get their cargo to where it needs to be.

As the situation evolves daily, we are working closely with all involved stakeholders in the local supply chain to help alleviate the situation. We will continue to rely on rail as the backbone of our inland UK operations, and we remain committed to limiting the impact on our customers’ businesses. Having the ability to move a high number of containers “in one go” from port to a proximity of final customer destinations will support our efforts in ensuring a robust and reliable pipeline of inland capacity for our customers. Also, with the opportunity to reduce CO2 emissions, traffic jams and accidents, this will aid in lessening the knock-on effects of the port congestion.

Please do not hesitate to reach out to our teams to discuss alternative solutions for your cargo. Also, getting early advice on urgent and priority shipments will assist us in providing you with the best possible service and outcome. Our teams are here to serve you, so please do not hesitate to contact us as we manoeuvre this situation. To reach our local customer experience teams, please dial: +44 (0) 330 912 0431 or email us at: [email protected] or [email protected]

Network change per 19/10-21:
The current supply-chain bottlenecks in the United Kingdom continues to negatively affect our customers as well as our service network. The ongoing situation with congestion and port disruptions prolong each port stay our vessels make and significantly disrupts their normal schedules.

We are working closely with respective port authorities and coordinating with all involved parts in the local supply chain to help alleviate the situation and assess options. To mitigate further disruptions to our customers’ supply chains and preserve the operational integrity of our network we are relocating our ME7 westbound call from Felixstowe to London Gateway.

The first vessel/voyage to relocate will be the W Klaipeda ETA Monday 1st November 18:00. In addition, the forward proforma rotation for the service is as follows:
ALR: MON/0800 – TUE/0800
ROT: SAT/0700 – SUN/0700
LGW: MON/1800 – TUE/1800
BRV: THU/0600 – FRI/1800
We take this action to keep your supply chains moving and we are working hard to ensure that we can return the network to normality as soon as possible. We appreciate your continued support in these unprecedented circumstances.

October 15, 2021 – Update 5

Staying committed to keeping you up to speed with the developments that affect your supply chain, please find the latest update regarding empty equipment returns for Felixstowe.

We have been working tirelessly to increase empty uplifts on vessel calls, source additional berthing windows to bring in extra loaders and procure additional off-dock storage facilities to relieve the Felixstowe yard density. As a result the Felixstowe gate will reopen on Friday 15th at noon for empty equipment returns.

We would like to thank all of our customers for your efforts, patience and understanding during this incredibly difficult period. If you have any questions, please reach out to your local Maersk professional for more information.

October 13, 2021 – Update 4

Staying committed to keeping you up to speed with the developments that affect your supply chain, please find the latest update regarding empty equipment returns for Felixstowe.

We have been working tirelessly to increase empty uplifts on vessel calls, source additional berthing windows to bring in extra loaders and procure additional off-dock storage facilities. Despite our continued efforts, due to the high density of containers on the terminal, we are unable to accept any empty returns to Felixstowe terminal from 0700hrs 14/10.

As part of our current empty evacuation plan, we have sourced some additional storage that can be utilised – the site is located at Tilbury port and their opening hours are 0630-1800. Details as follows and please quote ref. MA999 upon arrival.

London Container Storage
Gate 2 (old P&O gate)
Port of Tilbury

The situation remains very fluid and we will provide further updates at the earliest opportunity.

We would like to thank all of our customers for your efforts, patience and understanding during this incredibly difficult period. If you have any questions, please reach out to your local Maersk professional for more information.

October 11, 2021 – Update 3

Staying committed to keeping you up to speed with the developments that affect your supply chain, please find the latest update regarding empty equipment returns for Felixstowe & London Gateway.

Felixstowe
The gate reopened on Friday 8th at 1600hrs as expected.

It is imperative we continue to reduce the empty flows at the port, we will continue to accept merchant haulage returns to other UK ports (with the exception of London Gateway).

London Gateway
We are pleased the gate has reopened for empty returns today.

As a priority we are steering reefer equipment into London Gateway to support a smooth equipment flow and meet our evacutation plans.

To avoid negatively impacting the yard density, we continue to offer the sourced additional storage at Tilbury Port, as per previous Customer Advisory.

We would like to thank all of our customers for your continued efforts, patience and understanding during this incredibly difficult time. If you have any questions, please reach out to your local Maersk professional for more information.

October 08, 2021 – Update 2

Staying committed to keeping you up to speed with the developments that affect your supply chain, please find the latest update regarding empty equipment returns for Felixstowe & London Gateway.

Felixstowe
We have been working tirelessly to increase the empty uplift on vessels alongside, and to find additional berthing windows to bring in extra loaders. As a result, the gates will re-open to accept empty containers from 1600hrs on 08/10.

For any urgent returns in the meantime we have sourced empty storage in Ipswich which can be utilised immediately. Depot details are as follows and their opening times are 0600-1800. Please quote ref. MA999 upon arrival.

London Gateway
Due to the high volume of empty returns following the gate closures at Felixstowe, we have seen an extraordinary amount of empty returns into London Gateway. Already operating with a high yard density, yesterday the terminal authorities made the difficult decision to close their gates for empty returns from 1800hrs 07/10.

Due to the current density, we do not expect the gates to reopen until early next week. As part of our current empty evacuation plan, we have sourced some additional storage that can be utilised. The site is located at Tilbury port, and their opening times are 0630-1800. Details as follows and please quote ref. MA999 upon arrival.

London Container Storage
Gate 2 (old P&O gate)
Port of Tilbury

We would like to thank all of our customers for your efforts, patience and understanding during this incredibly difficult week. If you have any questions, please reach out to your local Maersk professional for more information.

October 06, 2021 – Update 1

Keeping your supply chain running is of the utmost priority to us, but unfortunately due to the high volume of empty containers on the terminal in Felixstowe, we are unable to accept any of your empty returns to the terminal in question.

In giving you this information we hope to avoid further congestion and port disruption. We advise that you steer merchant haulage empty returns to London Gateway. If returning in the North West or North East of the country, then please steer to the following feeder ports.

• Grangemouth
• South shields
• Immingham
• Hull
• Seaforth
• Teesport

We understand this is far from ideal and continue to follow the situation closely with the Port and are looking at ways to reopen as soon as possible.
Source: Maersk

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