Thursday, March 6, 2014

Ocean Container Shipping Lines Forced to Use New Deep Water Port to Discharge Freight

Inclement UK Weather Closes Original Destinations So Ad Hoc Services on the Thames Give DP World a Chance to Shine
Shipping News Feature

UK – It seems that DP World’s Thames based London Gateway port, whilst still trying to sign up more regular port calls from the ocean container shipping community to enable it to properly challenge established freight hubs such as Felixstowe and Southampton, is carving a niche for itself as a ‘go to’ deep water facility when is all is not well elsewhere.

Having facilitated the offloading of vessels previously that diverted due to operational problems the ports management was doubtless only too glad to show what they could do when ten further vessels have had to use the sheltered riverside option during the run of appalling weather to which Britain has been subjected to since Christmas.

These ad hoc diversionary calls enable DP World to not only show that all equipment and transport links are functioning, despite the emergency nature of the arrivals, but that it is capable of remaining open when other UK ports are forced to close in inclement weather, a fact backed up by one of the country’s leading retailers with Dean Hawkridge, Head of International Supply Chain at B&Q, commenting:

“Importers order stock months in advance with an expected date for goods to be on the shelf. It is difficult to predict if and when weather issues may cause delays, but the impact can generate problems along supply chains, with back logs taking days to clear after a port’s operations are halted. DP World London Gateway’s ability to continue operating when other ports have stopped operations is welcome news as shippers are seeking reliability for deliveries to go as planned.”

In a further boost to efficiency in UK supply chains, DP World London Gateway has become the first UK port to use a quad lift system on its quay cranes, which can pick up four twenty foot containers in a single lift. The system is also capable of a tandem lift of two forty foot containers, effectively doubling the number of containers that can be unloaded from a ship at a time.

Progress on attracting new box lines continues as, in addition to the existing weekly call by the Southern Africa Europe Container Service, Hamburg-Sud and Hapag Lloyd have recently announced the transfer of services to London Gateway in May which will include services to and from the South American East Coast, South American West Coast and India, Pakistan and the Middle East.

Photo: Any Port in a Storm – The Maersk Sealand Eagle was forced to divert to London Gateway.