The Elbstrom at Portsmouth

The container congestion crisis engulfing the UK has spread beyond the country’s ports and distribution centres into towns and villages.

To say residents in the sleepy Suffolk village of Melton, located about 10 miles inland from Felixstowe, were surprised to see large numbers of container trucks turning up on a disused plot of land over the past week would be an understatement.

Pictures and video taken by The Loadstar over the weekend show container stacks dominating the rural skyline – The Loadstar estimates hundreds of containers are being stored at the site.

The build-up of containers at the site comes amid reports that some 11,000 teu of containers containing PPE shipments are stuck in Felixstowe’s container yards.

One UK freight forwarder told The Loadstar the PPE shipments “can’t get into the National Health Service (NHS) supply network – it’s already full”.

Meanwhile, the country’ major container gateways continue to struggle with empty containers causing congestion, and other UK ports are offering their services to shipping lines desperate to get empties back to Asia.

Last week, Portsmouth terminal Portico welcomed the 974 teu BG Freight Line feeder vessel Elbstrom, which made an ad hoc call at the south coast port to collect a consignment of empty CMA CGM containers for transport to Rotterdam.

“The ongoing effect of the coronavirus pandemic, along with some British ports seeing container traffic 30% above normal levels has led to a glut of empty containers across the UK. Combine this with importers looking to stock up ahead of Christmas, and you’ve got a major container headache,” the company said.

Portico operations director Steve Williams said: “We’re pleased we can do our bit to help solve this issue, which is causing disruption to supply chains across the globe and hampering the economic recovery from the coronavirus pandemic.”

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  • George Kochanowski

    November 16, 2020 at 11:52 pm

    This situation doesn’t have to be this way with containers down the road
    …by using Staxxon’s CSC certified folding containers these 11,000 teu could have been reduced to a manageable 2200. If they were all 40ft containers – they would be bundled down to the equivalent of 1100 teu

    Another way to look at the situation, the containers could have been bundled so that there would be no stacking in the yard…!

    Moreover, because of the return on investment – these folding containers can be fabricated in the UK and be available in-country without the current hit or miss quality, pricing and delivery issues.

  • Ms. Irene Addison

    January 07, 2021 at 10:11 am

    My partner has been waiting for his deceased father’s stone since ordering and paying a stonemason, on the 8th July, 2019. The stonemason will engrave it, so that we may put it with his father’s ashes. The stonemason girst told us after the 6 week period, that it was still in transit, on the ship. On two occasions since, he has told us that it is at the port, but due to a backlog of containers, it is stuck there! Is this feasible, or is he just ‘fobbing us off’, as my partner is so disappointed and we wanted it in place for Christmas. Please advise. Thank you.

    • Alex Lennane

      January 07, 2021 at 11:21 am

      You have been waiting since 2019? That doesn’t sound right. Do you know the shipping line?

  • Irene addison

    January 07, 2021 at 10:15 am

    I have not commented about this before?? Please investigate on our behalf and respond to advise us. The port in question, is Dover. Thank you.