60ft mountain of shipping containers has formed 26 miles from Felixstowe

Containers are now being stored at a disused airfield to create space at Felixstowe.

Sarah Woodrow

November 7, 2021

Over the recent months Ports worldwide have faced a backlog of containers, caused by the disruption of Covid-19 and a lack of lorry drivers. 

Ports have had to think out of the box to manage the backlog of containers, In California, the state governor ordered private and federal land to be found to store the containers that were blocking new shipments entering ports like Los Angeles 

In the UK a 60ft mountain of shipping containers has formed 26 miles from Felixstowe at an old airfield. The mountain stretches for more than 100m and the containers are stacked 6 high. The empty containers have been moved off-dock to free up space for cargo imports amid a rise in demand related to Christmas and the reopening of economies in the wake of the pandemic.

Earlier this year container ships were forced to divert from Felixstowe due to lack of drivers and labour shortages which hampered efforts to unload and reload ships.

Industry experts have said some hauliers are finding it cheaper to store empty containers outside ports, or there is limited capacity ahead of Christmas.

A Road Haulage Association (RHA) survey of its members estimates there is now a shortage of more than 100,000 qualified drivers in the UK. That number includes thousands of drivers from European Union (EU) member states who were previously living and working in the UK. There are also shortages across Europe and the US.

PSA International Pte Ltd’s new mega-port in Singapore has opened its storage area early to help relieve the supply chain bottlenecks plaguing container shipping. The congestion has caused ships to arrive late resulting in  multiple containers blocking ports around the globe. 

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