The Rt Hon Chris Grayling MP, Secretary of State for Transport, has officiated at a formal ground-breaking ceremony to mark the start of work on the latest phase of expansion at Hutchison Ports Port of Felixstowe.
Approximately 13 hectares of new paved container yard is to be constructed directly behind Berth 9 at the UK's largest container port. The work will include the reclamation of 3.2 hectares of seabed.
Commenting on the latest development, Transport Secretary Chris Grayling said:
"This important expansion of Felixstowe continues the port's impressive record of investment to make sure it is well placed to make the most of trading opportunities both now and in the future.
"As a great, global trading nation, the UK and its ports are the natural home for international maritime business. It is great to see our largest container port expanding its offering so it can grow and prosper."
Clemence Cheng, CEO of the Port of Felixstowe and Executive Director, Hutchison Ports, added:
"Berths 8&9 were the first berths in the UK built to accommodate the latest class of ultra-large container vessels. The creation of additional container storage will allow us to optimise container handling operations between the berth and its supporting yard and further enhance the service we offer to our customers."
Completion of the new container yard, which will comprise ten container storage blocks and allow 6-high stacking, is scheduled for early 2019. The yard will add 18,000 TEU of storage capacity to the 130,000 TEU already available at the UK's largest container port.
The work will further enhance Felixstowe's ability to handle the world's largest container ships. The port was the first in the UK to handle the latest class of 18,000+ TEU ships and in 2017 welcomed 166 calls by the largest class of mega-ships, more than any other port in the country.
Hutchison Ports is continuing to invest in rail facilities at the port and a new benchmark was set in 2017 when Felixstowe became the first port in the UK to handle more than 1 million TEU by rail in a single year.