The Port of Felixstowe’s chief operating officer confirms that incidences of delays and disruption may continue until 10th July.

Sparked by implementation of the new port operating system, nGen, over the weekend of the 9th /10th June, we have been advised that nGen is now functioning correctly for the vast majority of transactions and the port is working round the clock monitoring and fixing issues as and when they arise.

Although no date has been given formally by the port as to when they are expecting to have service back to normal levels their COO, at a recent meeting with the port user association, indicated that this could be by the 10th July.

On a more positive note we are already into the port’s peak season for staff holidays, which means we should see services levels naturally increase over the coming weeks.

On the face of it the business case for Felixstowe’s decision to replace their existing terminal operating system (TOS) with their in-house nGen appeared reasonable and as the system has already been installed in 25 new terminals in the Hutchison network, it would be expected that their IT engineers would be well experienced at implementation.

However, installing this new system at the UK’s busiest terminal is a completely different proposition.

Because carriers, forwarders and hauliers were so densely “knitted” with Felixstowe’s legacy terminal operating system, the transition to the new TOS is incredibly complex, as all those external connections also have to be transitioned. Directly leading to the collapse of service levels in so many key areas, that we have been experiencing.

Moving forward, and once they have fixed all the errors, this system definitely looks a better platform to build on and improve the movement of containers through the port.

A further port users meeting is planned with the port on the 18th July. We will keep you advised of any important developments.