Tuesday, 21 April 2009

Maersk moves from Southampton to rival container port Felixstowe

I blogged this 08/04/09.
Here's the full story about Maersk leaving Southampton .


SHIPPING giant Maersk has dealt another blow to Southampton’s recession-hit container port by switching business to its rival.

From May Maersk Line, the world’s biggest container shipping firm, is to steer the massive ships on its AE1 service from Asia to Europe to Felixstowe, Suffolk, instead of Southampton.
It’s the latest in a tide of bad news flowing from the terminal, which until this year had been enjoying an unprecedented boom.

Last month the Daily Echo revealed that 60 staff were set to be axed following a drop in business.

Expansion plans at the container terminal, recently renamed DP World Southampton, which would have nearly doubled capacity have also been put on hold.

Maersk’s move will add to a slump that has already wiped at least ten per cent off the terminal’s trade.

Container lines frequently switch their business across ports and Maersk previously bought its business back to Southampton from Felixstowe in January 2006 after an eight year absence, a decision trumpeted as a coup for the city.

Maersk Line UK & Ireland operations director, Mark Cornwell said: “The new port call will enable Maersk Line to make better use of its extensive intermodal infrastructure in Felixstowe, utilising more daily train departures to a greater number of inland destinations.

“In addition, the change will achieve greater efficiencies by allowing us to take advantage of synergies with other services already calling in Felixstowe and better utilising our assets.

“Maersk Line will continue to provide a weekly service from Asian ports to Southampton via the AE21 service and maintain our positive relationship with DP World Southampton.”

Campbell Mason, managing director, DP World Southampton, said: “The shift of the AE1’s UK port of call from Southampton is of course an unwelcome change for our business.

“We will however continue to handle Maersk cargoes being carried via their sharing arrangements with other services calling at Southampton and we hope to welcome Maersk’s own services back to our terminal as reconfigurations take place in the future.”

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