Felixstowe Port has moved to address haulier concerns today (9 July) over its decision to introduce a new booking system which RHA warned this week could create greater costs and delays for operators using the port. 

The port is replacing its Vehicle Booking System (VBS) with a Container Booking System (CBS) and has been criticised by the RHA for a lack of consultation ahead of the system’s introduction.

Robert Ashton, Felixstowe Port’s chief operating office attempted to quell hauliers concerns today. He told MT the hauliers will benefit from the new system.

He explained: ”The current VBS was installed nearly 20 years ago. It was introduced to reduce haulier queuing and therefore lessen GHG emissions and avoid congestion in and around the port.

”It has achieved those, but VBS does not have all the features of the new CBS which is designed to improve terminal efficiency and the haulier experience.

”We understand the community is apprehensive about changes and we will continue to liaise with them as we introduce these improvements over the coming months.”

The port has also decided to carry out a 12 week trial of the new system before it goes live in October, which RHA chief executive Richard Smith has welcomed, along with its commitment to greater collaboration with hauliers going forward.

Smith added: ”I urge the port management team to take all feedback into consideration as this port is critical to the economy, both locally and nationally, as an integral part of the UK’s supply chain.”