Monday, 16 November 2009

Booking bother at Felixstowe

Hauliers are finding it increasingly difficult to access Felixstowe’s Trinity Terminal during peak hours, due to the sheer weight of demand for slots on its vehicle booking system (VBS).
One haulage firm told IFW that it had lost all confidence in the system and warned that people could be laid off as a result.
He said: "I spent half an hour begging and pleading just to get four bookings.
The port of Felixstowe handles over a million containers, and I’m trying to get four bookings.
"If we can’t get in to service the lines, how can it continue?" he asked.
"I don’t think the haulage industry has got any confidence in such a system, in whatever shape or form it comes and whether it is at Southampton, Tilbury or Felixstowe."
A spokesman for Hutchison Ports UK, said that while the booking system was "technically working fine", the port was aware of the frustration felt by hauliers who were not always able to book the slots they needed.
"At peak times there may not always be slots available," he said.
The VBS caps the number of vehicles that can enter the port in any one hour at 210.
It also allows firms to book seven days in advance, but stops anyone from block-booking.
Peak periods operate between 6-8am and 2-6pm each day.
The spokesman said: "When it [the VBS] gets fully booked, it’s between those periods generally.
"The reason that a VBS was needed in the first place was that in peak periods, more hauliers were arriving than we could physically handle, which obviously led to delays.
"If more than 210 vehicles want to book in any one hour, then they are not all going to be successful."
He argued that the system "gave more certainty" to hauliers over when they would get serviced, but said he appreciated the frustration felt by others.
"Clearly they need to do what they can to deliver the containers where and when their customers want them and I fully understand that.
"It [the VBS] has, overall, reduced the average waiting time.
"We’re trying to smooth out the peaks as best we can, to make it more of a 24-hour system.
"We’re in the peak period of the year as well, with the run up to Christmas.
"There are more hours that are maxing out at the moment - more than there were earlier in the year."

http://www.ifw-net.com/freightpubs/ifw/newsarticle.htm?artid=1257955569995

9 comments:

Basin Digger said...

I thought we were in a recession - that's why the company took all that money of us. Maybe somebody has been telling a bit of a white lie so as the shareholders can become a tad richer !!.

C Shift Tug rep said...

Wash your mouth out with soap Basin digger... That would never happen.


Would it?

Anonymous said...

No one's mentioned they closed down a perfectly good working terminal, all be it small, it still elevated some of the traffic that bottle necks up over the shit side.

Youmakemelaff said...

I did not know Paul Daniels worked at Looneyguard.
But I think I understand your point.
Basin surely you are pleased that we are all still in a job?

Basin Digger said...

Youmakemelaff - of cause I am pleased that we all still have a job. The Dock is a very good job indeed. What I dislike is taking a pay cut to fund shareholders pockets. Take 5 mins to look at the port website /commercial information / rates of charges and then just see how much this port makes in one day.

Youmakemelaff said...

Basin, What you print as your charges does not mean that you get anywhere near this when contracts have been signed.
When MSK and China Shipping etc have been posting record losses for the last six months do you think they will have still been paying the Port top dollar for its services?

Anonymous said...

OK so we're down on volume so far this year 5% from last year, say we're not getting the same rates as last year let's say 20% down. From last September's blog where 2008's profits were released I would say the company is still going to make
a profit of around 39 million + and each employee will make the company a profit of around £14,000+. That doesn't even take into account the fact of what the company stole back off us this year and the fact that this year we have used less resources to do nearly the same amount of work. It would be nice for HPH to recognize the work achieved by the workforce where others within the group would have made losses during this recession

C Shift Tug rep said...

Youmakemelaff, last night we finally had our November briefing our manager said that the shipping companies are all suffering but the port hasn't moved on its rates.

Youmakemelaff said...

Why would the company tell anybody that they have cut their rates?
It would be open season then by all shipping company's, we will never know for sure but it will be interesting reading once the accounts for this finacial year are produced.