November 30, 2021

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Brexit and Infection | Christmas-packed ships sway from the crowded English harbor

(London) Many giant container ships carrying supplies for Christmas were diverted from Felixstowe (east of the UK) to European ports due to traffic congestion, epidemics and Brexit at its terminals.


“To ensure that goods are widely available in the UK for Black Friday and Christmas, we have begun to modify one of our three large ships, the Felixstowe, each week,” AFP told AFP on Tuesday. The world’s largest container shipping company.

These large cargo vehicles enter other ports on the continent, such as Rotterdam or Antwerp, and then the goods are “brought to Felixstow by small ships”, where small boats are accommodated.

“We had to stop operations on a ship because there was nowhere for the containers to die,” said Lars Mickel Jensen, manager of the Mersk East-West Maritime Network.

Photo Joke Fistik, Archives Bloomberg

Container ship Ellie Mersk Leaving the port of Rotterdam. Large container ships bound for the English port of Felixstowe are diverted to continental European ports such as Rotterdam or Antwerp, where the cargo is then “brought back to Felixstow for small vessels”, where there is room for several small boats.

Turning it into a European port, he added, “It is better to wait four, five or six days outside a ship than Felixstow.”

A spokesman for the group said, “Port congestion has spread around the world due to an epidemic disruption in global supply chains”, but “Felixstow is one of the 3-4 most affected ports in the world.” 36% UK seafood volume per container.

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Questioned? “Empty containers not taken at normal speed, due to shortage of truck drivers” brought by Brexit and infection.

For weeks, there has been a shortage of about 100,000 lorry drivers in the UK, causing severe delivery problems for petrol-free UK supermarkets and service stations.

Faced with the threat of empty shelves at Christmas, the government issued its immigration policy of up to 10,500 temporary work visas, including 300 for tanker drivers, but less than 10% of them were found to have been picked up in early October.

“Like other major ports in the UK and elsewhere, Felixstow is feeling the effects of the global supply chain crisis,” the port spokesman acknowledged. “If the size of the empty containers is large”, “most containers will be treated within minutes of arrival”, however, indicating that “the condition is improving”.