Why do we need to deepen the harbour?

21 September 2021

Why do we need to deepen the harbour?

Felixstowe is the biggest and busiest container port in the country. Currently almost 40% of all UK containers come through Felixstowe. The Haven ports (Felixstowe, Harwich, Ipswich and Mistley) form a vital regional and national transport hub.

The container ships with the deepest draft (underwater depth) can currently arrive and depart from Felixstowe only over the high water periods. If more than one ship needs to move over a high water, one ship is likely to be delayed for up to 12 hours

Why is the deeper channel and harbour needed?

Because the shipping lines are moving to use larger, deeper, more economic and cleaner vessels. The dredging is important to retain existing customers and allow for future growth.

All the major shipping lines are moving to larger and potentially deeper ships, reducing the cost, the fuel use and the emissions. An increasing proportion of goods arriving in the Haven are transported by these larger ships.

Without deepening the harbour and channel, it is likely that congestion and delays will increase and business will ultimately be lost to UK or nearby European ports.

The Haven is an important gateway for trade entering the UK and deepening the channel will support the economy of the area.

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