A TRACK RECORD OF ALWAYS LEADING THE WAY

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1875
The Felixstowe Railway and Pier Company (FRPC) was founded by Colonel George Tomline, a prominent local landowner.

1877
The first FRPC  passenger train ran from Westerfield to Felixstowe, but in 1879 this line was transferred to the Great Eastern Railway.

1879
The company title was changed to the ‘Felixstowe Railway and Dock Company’, and powers were given to construct a dock, warehouses and rail sidings. Later in the same year, the company title was again changed, to the ‘Felixstowe Dock and Railway Company’, as it is today.

1882
Work commenced on the dock basin.

1886
The Dock was opened for trade, and the first commercial vessel entered on 7th April.

1889
Colonel Tomline died. The Dock was left to Captain Ernest Pretyman.

1904
A flour mill and grain storage silo were built on the north side of the basin.

1914-18
The Port was requisitioned as a Royal Navy Destroyer and Mine-sweeper base.

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1939-45
The Port was requisitioned as a Royal Navy MTB and Air Sea Rescue base.

1951
The Port was acquired by Mr. Gordon Parker, an agricultural merchant. New warehouses were erected for copra, wheat, maize and sugar. RN oil tanks were leased for the storage of linseed, ground-nut and palm oils.

1953
The Port suffered a severe setback when the disastrous East coast floods swept over the entire Dock area, causing extensive damage and destroying the two wooden piers at the basin entrance.

1959
Work commenced on the new East Quay. Bulk grain and liquid tanks were added.

1961
Felixstowe Tank Developments Ltd. was formed. More tanks were added.

1963
Two million cubic feet of warehousing were added. The Felixstowe Cold Store was opened.

1964
The Oil Jetty was constructed, extending 1,100 feet into the waters of Harwich Harbour.

1965
No.1 Ro-Ro berth was completed and made available at all states of the tide.

1966
Building work commenced on Landguard Container Terminal.

1967-68
The first 500 feet of Landguard Container Terminal, together with one Paceco Vickers Portainer Crane, was completed and in use by 1st July. By March 1968, the remainder of the new container quay (a further 800 feet) had been completed, including one extra Paceco crane, and Ro-Ro berth (No.2 Ro-Ro). In addition, 13 acres of land had been reclaimed.

1972
Work began on a further extension of Landguard Container Terminal. Work also commenced on the development of facilities in the north of the port.

1973
The 700 feet extension of Landguard Container Terminal was completed, and another Paceco crane was added (giving a total of three cranes now in operation). During May, the Southern bypass was completed, diverting dock traffic from the town of Felixstowe. During November, the Freightliner Terminal opened, and No.3 Ro-Ro Bridge on the Northern Development became operational.

1974
The first passenger service, operated by Townsend Thoresen, commenced out of Felixstowe, with a twice-daily service to Zeebrugge.

1975
No.4 Ro-Ro Bridge on the Northern Development was opened on 10th February. During April, the first Tor passenger service commenced to Gothenburg.

1976
The company was taken over by European Ferries Limited.

1978
A purpose-built passenger and freight terminal opened for Townsend Thoresen.

1979
Work began on the expansion in the north of the port, which was to double the port’s container handling capacity to approximately 500,000 containers.

1980
With 252,802 containers handled in 1980, Felixstowe became the largest container port in the UK.

1981
In April, the two new terminals, Dooley and Walton, became operational, Walton Container Terminal being a separately operated company, a subsidiary of the Orient Overseas Container Line in the C.H. Tung Group.

1982
Work commenced on a second Railfreight Terminal at the port to serve Dooley and Walton Terminals.

1984
Felixstowe became the first seaport in the UK to introduce computerised Customs clearance.

1985
During 1985, a new Private Bill began its progress through Parliament. This was completed in May 1988 and secured a further 220 acres on the northern bank of Harwich Harbour and the Orwell Estuary for future expansion requirements. Work commenced on Trinity Container Terminal (Phase 1).

1986
Phase 1 of the development became operational in January. This provided the port with 550 metres of quay, and 24 hectares of back-up storage space. A depth of water alongside of 13.4 metres also provided Felixstowe with the ability to handle the largest container vessels in the world. On 7th April, the port celebrated 100 years as a working port.

1987
The port was acquired by the P&0 Group. Felixstowe became the first port in the UK to handle over one million TEUs in one year.

1988
At the end of this year, construction work began on a £50 million project to double the size of Trinity Container Terminal.

1989
In conjunction with the new development, the main approach channel was deepened to 11 metres. The port’s computer system FCP80 was updated, and renamed FCPS (Felixstowe Cargo Processing System).

1990
Trinity Terminal Phase 2 opened.

1991
In August, 75% of the port was acquired by the Hutchison Whampoa Group, Hong Kong. The separately-operated container-handling facility, Walton Container Terminal – owned by Orient

Overseas Holdings Limited (OOHL), amalgamated with Trinity Terminal (with 75% of Port of Felixstowe owned by Hutchison Whampoa Limited, and 25% by OOHL).

1993
Dredging work to deepen the main channel to a minimum depth of 12.5 metres started. A new warehouse for Forest Products was completed (94 Shed), giving the Port just over one million square feet of warehousing.

1994
Hutchison Whampoa purchased the remaining 25% of the port from OOHL, giving Hutchison 100% ownership of the Port. The Port was given the go-ahead to undertake a new 630-metre expansion of Trinity Terminal (Trinity Terminal Phase 3). The A14 dual carriageway, from the port’s entrance to  the M1/M6 junction, was completed and opened. In December, the port ordered three new super post-Panamax ship-to-shore cranes from Morris in Loughborough, thus enabling the port to work across 18-containers-wide fifth-generation container vessels. 49% of all British deep-sea container trade passed through the Port of Felixstowe.

1996
Trinity Terminal Phase 3 was officially opened by their Royal Highnesses, Prince and Princess Michael of Kent. The Port handled its two millionth TEU for 1996 on 30th December.

1997
In May, fire destroyed the original Dock Office, which dated back to 1888. In December, for the first time ever, the Port handled 200,000 containers on the Rail Terminal in one year.

1998
Hutchison acquired Thamesport on the Isle of Grain, and Harwich International Port, formerly known as Parkeston Quay. The North Rail Terminal was extended by 56 metres and upgraded. Two additional tracks, making six in all, and two new gantry cranes, were installed. The main navigational approach channel was dredged from 12.5 metres below chart datum to 14.5 metres.

2000
In October, a Harbour Revision Order was submitted to the Government to extend Trinity Container Terminal by 270 metres (Trinity Terminal Phase 3.2).

2001
A dedicated rail service for Stora Enso forest products was launched in September, operated by English, Welsh & Scottish Railway Limited (EWS), from the Port’s new paper-handling rail facility.

2002
Approval was given, following a Public Inquiry in May, for the Trinity Terminal Phase 3.2 extension. Plans of intent were announced for the reconfiguration of the southern part of the port.

2006
In February approval was given, following a Public Inquiry in 2004, for the Felixstowe South Reconfiguration scheme. When complete, the scheme will provide a quay length of 1,350 metres (Berths 8 & 9), refurbishment and extension of the existing Landguard container park and a new North Rail Terminal. The works will increase port capacity to 5.56million TEUs.

2008
Costain was appointed in May as the main contractor for the Felixstowe South project and, following a major demolition programme, the start of construction was marked with a ceremony held on 1st September. October saw the commissioning on Trinity Terminal of five new ship-to-shore cranes, and a new rail-mounted gantry crane came into operation in November on the South Rail Terminal.

2011
The port celebrated the 125th anniversary of the first commercial vessel working at the port. September 28th saw the official opening of Berths 8 & 9, phase 1 of the new deep-water facility comprising 730 metres of quay with a depth alongside of 16 metres below chart datum and seven ship-to-shore cranes. HRH Princess Anne loaded the inaugural box on to the vessel MSC Esti. Upgrades to the Dockspur Roundabout and Copdock Interchanges were completed.  

2013
The opening of a further nine rail tracks was carried out in June by HRH Duke of York, doubling the rail capacity. The new North Rail Terminal allows 30x60ft wagon sets to work on a single track. (The previous North Rail Terminal was renamed as the Central Rail Terminal). In October the port worked the world's largest container ship, the Majestic Maersk on her maiden voyage with a capacity of 18,000 TEU.

2014
Work commenced on 190m quay extension to Berths 8&9.