Horrendous delays at Felixstowe thanks to IT problems, what happens when Brexit hits?
The recent disruptions at the UK port of Felixstowe have caused long delays, operational meltdown and extra costs for freight forwarders and hauliers. All due to the recent implementation of a new operating system at the port.
To add insult to injury the Port’s owners Hutchinson Ports – has stated there will be no form of compensation available for hauliers and freight forwarders.
Robert Keen, Director General of the British International Freight Association (BIFA) said:
“Having had a meeting with the port’s senior management, it is clear that the only companies that might receive any compensation are shipping lines.
“The port authority has made it clear to us 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.
“It is astonishing that a port authority, which owns the UK’s busiest container port and has been happy to market it as the ‘Port of Britain’, implemented a new and vitally important system with apparently no fall-back position if it went wrong.
“And it is very disappointing that it is not even prepared to discuss any kind of compensation for such a failure in customer service.”
The RHA make warnings
The RHA (Road Haulage Association) is calling for compensation for firms affected by the delays – and serves this as a Brexit warning to ministers.
Richard Burnett, RHA chief executive sees a clear parallel with the importance of successful customs and border negotiations over Brexit:
“What’s happened at Felixstowe is a stark warning to politicians about the dangers to the supply chain over delays at ports. The 16 hour delays we’ve seen here are a drop in the ocean compared to the chaos we face without free flowing borders after Brexit – devastating the supply chain and the British economy. It’s a wake-up call to the Government.”
We’re keeping our fingers crossed that some sense will happen soon!