Disruption for Felixstowe freight forwarders

Port of Felixstowe According to BIFA's director general the TOS issues at the Port of Felixstowe have caused "significant problems". Credit: Port of Felixstowe

The director general of the British International Freight Association (BIFA) has said that the organisation’s members are still facing “significant problems” at the Port of Felixstowe following implementation of a new terminal operating system (TOS).

Responding to a statement by Felixstowe’s owner Hutchison Ports that the TOS is now “stable” Robert Keen said: “Our members still face significant problems at the port with shipping lines cancelling calls; or operating a cut-and-run policy, where the ship leaves before all containers that are booked are loaded, or discharged.

“Those members are also experiencing knock-on effects at other UK ports where vessels are being diverted, causing additional cost and disruption.”

No compensation

Mr Keen stated that BIFA has previously “expressed its disappointment” that Hutchison “has made it clear that it does not consider BIFA members to be direct customers of the port, and would not be willing to have a discussion about possible compensation for the damage caused and the increased costs that have been incurred by those members.”

BIFA believes that because Hutchison “produces a publicly available tariff detailing services being offered and the associated charges; and then either invoices the freight forwarder directly for these charges; or grants credit facilities, all the elements of a contract between Hutchison and BIFA members are in place.

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