Felixstowe port has warned that the high container volumes it is currently dealing with could last into the new year, but that it remained “fully operational”.

In a statement on its website, now removed, it said that “there is a significant amount of misinformation being circulated” about the port’s operational status and that, in common with major ports across the world, it was busy due to a “post-lockdown spike in container volumes.”

The container terminal has been criticised in the last few weeks by shippers and hauliers for the level of service they said they had received.

In September, the port apologised for the disruption caused to hauliers and blamed surging import volumes, empty containers and Covid-19.

Chelmsford-based Woodland Group warned of “industry-wide disruption” and claimed that the port had hit capacity.

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The British International Freight Association (BIFA) waded into the row last month and said government intervention was needed to address the issues.

But the port said it was working hard to minimise the impact on daily operations and that the current high volumes would last at least until December “and possibly into the New Year”.

Felixstowe port said it handled 69,584 TEUs last week and that 95% of import containers were available for collection within 10 minutes of discharge from the vessel.

It said 104 additional equipment drivers were being recruited and trained and that it would continue the recruitment through the current lockdown period.

“In the week to 01.11.2020 a total of 26,376 VBS bookings were available of which 6,959 went unused,” the port said.

“In the week to 01.11.2020, the average turnaround times for hauliers were 52.74 minutes at Trinity Terminal and 37.96 minutes at Berths 8 and 9.”