New Shipping Minister visits Port of Felixstowe

17th October 2012

Stephen Hammond MP, Parliamentary Under Secretary of State at the Department for Transport, has made his first visit to the UK’s largest container port. Whilst at the port, Mr Hammond also visited the container ship Ever Leading, an 8,452 TEU container ship operated by Evergreen Marine under the British flag, on her maiden voyage to the UK.

Shipping Minister Stephen Hammond said:

"Shipping is crucial to the vitality of the UK economy.  With this vessel, Evergreen has provided a very tangible sign that Britain is open for business and I welcome it to our shores and to the UK register.

“In my new role as Shipping Minister, it has also been a pleasure to see first hand the hard work and investment Hutchison Ports are putting into the largest and busiest container port in the UK."

Clemence Cheng, Managing Director of Hutchison Port Holdings Central Europe division, and Chief Executive Officer of Hutchison Ports (UK) Limited, owners of the Port of Felixstowe, added:

“Evergreen is a long-standing partner of Hutchison Ports around the world and an important customer at both Felixstowe and London Thamesport. It is an honour for us to welcome the maiden call of Ever Leading to Felixstowe and we look forward to the continuation of our relationship with them and many more calls by this impressive vessel.

“We are also delighted that the Minister has chosen the Port of Felixstowe, the Port of Britain, for his first visit to a UK port in his new role. Felixstowe is the UK’s largest container port and provides strategically important links between the UK and important overseas markets.

“We are continuing to invest in new facilities to support the export led growth agenda of the UK Government and were able to show the Minister the latest developments at the port. These important investments underscore Felixstowe’s market-leading position in both container shipping and intermodal rail transport, as well as its unrivalled connections with the UK hinterland.”

The Ever Leading, owned by Evergreen Marine (UK) Ltd., is on its maiden call and one of the newest ships on the UK Shipping Registry. The newbuilding is 334 metres in length, 45.8 metres wide, with 942 reefer plugs and a draft of 14.2 metres.   The L-type vessel can cruise at a speed up to 24.5 knots.

After meeting port officials, the Minister and other guests were shown the port’s facilities before being invited to lunch on board the Ever Leading.