Work to allow Hutchison Ports Port of Felixstowe to accommodate larger Ro/Ro vessels and improve the efficiency of vessel operations has been completed.

The upgrade to facilities at the port includes the lengthening of No.3 Ro/Ro berth and the replacement of the previous hydraulic ramp at No.4 Ro/Ro berth with a larger floating linkspan.

Commenting on the improvements, Chris Lewis, Chief Executive Officer at the Port of Felixstowe, said:

“The completion of this upgrade is well-timed. After an initial dip following the end of the Brexit transition period, roll-on/roll-off volumes have been increasing in recent weeks and we are seeing certain flows switching to Felixstowe as a result of new import requirements. The new Ro/Ro ramp complements earlier work to increase the number of trailer parking bays at the port and boosts the capability of our Ro/Ro operations.”

Although best known as a container port, the Port of Felixstowe is also one of the East Coast’s major Ro/Ro ports. It handles predominantly unaccompanied trailer trade with Europe via the Netherlands. Ferry company DFDS operate three sailings per day to Vlaardingen in Rotterdam using vessels of 190-250 trailer capacity.

Mark Woodard, DFDS General Manager Felixstowe, said:

“We are delighted with the outcome of these works. Unaccompanied trailer traffic is becoming ever more cost-effective for traders. We expect to see a further increase in demand as heavy goods driver shortages intensify and full import controls are implemented on goods from the EU from 1 July. The improved facilities give us greater flexibility in vessel deployment and will improve the reliability and consistency of service on the route.”

The Port of Felixstowe, with Hutchison Ports Harwich International, Harwich Haven Authority and a number of local councils and local enterprise partnerships has recently submitted a bid for freeport status. Freeport East will offer a unique inward investment opportunity for companies looking for a base from which to take advantage of the range of shipping connections linking the deep-sea container traffic at Felixstowe with European Ro/Ro services from Felixstowe and Harwich.