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Containers pile up in Felixstowe

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Britain’s largest container shipping port is so congested that its administration is considering turning away the ships.

The port of Felixstowe is struggling to cope with cargo volume and has become severely congested, in part due to a shortage of heavy vehicle drivers, according to ITV News reports.

The average container spends more than nine days in port before being picked up, twice the average “dwell time” in 2020. In the last week of September, the average wait was higher than at any time last year.

Felixstowe is handling import volumes similar to 2019, but is importing more containers than it is managing to transport by rail and road. The companies say the driver shortage has caused a drop in the number of container pickups and that labor shortages at the port are hampering the unloading and reloading of ships.

Carriers estimate that the number of containers collected last month fell between 15% and 20%.

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