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OOCL diverts service to Southampton from Felixstowe as delays continue

Orient Overseas Container Line (OOCL) has diverted its North Europe – Turkey (NET) service to Southampton in the UK from the Port of Felixstowe as the latter terminal continues to suffer disruptions months after installing a new terminal operating system.

OOCL said the NET service continued to suffer severe delays despite improvements made by Hutchison Ports to the Port of Felixstowe's new nGen terminal operating system.

“We now reach a point where we can no longer tolerate these delays, which are not only impacting the supply chain of our UK customer base but also those connecting at other ports in the service rotation,” OOCL said.

The NET service was moved on week 34 of the year to Southampton with its first call due on 25 August.

Read more: Port of Felixstowe fiasco - what went wrong?

In notice on 24 August the Port of Felixstowe claimed positive progress in a number of areas with some services that had diverted starting to return to the port.

“Quayside productivity continues to recover with corresponding improvement in container throughput, although the pace of progress is slower than we would have liked.  The first of the services that diverted temporarily to other ports, the jointly-operated Seago, Hamburg Sud and CMA CGM Levant service, returned to Felixstowe on 23 August, and we are discussing with our shipping line customers welcoming back more services in the coming weeks,” it said.

The nGen operating system was installed in the first half of June at the UK gateway port leading to huge operational delays which have yet to be fully resovled.