The Mayor, Cllr Nick Barber, was among the distinguished guests who were invited to celebrate the Port of Felixstowe’s 50th anniversary celebrations at the Cutty Sark in Greenwich last Friday.
The UK’s first operational container terminal opened at the Port of Felixstowe on 1 July 1967. The 50th anniversary of this major event will be celebrated throughout 2017. Speaking about the special anniversary year, the Mayor of Felixstowe said: “Congratulations to our Port of Felixstowe celebrating 50 years of the first container in the UK . Thanks to the ongoing investment made by the Port, I am sure that Felixstowe will see continued success over the next 50 years and beyond.”
Now firmly established as the UK’s largest container port, the port’s first forays into the container market were much more modest. Originally known as the New South Quay, the first dedicated container terminal opened initially with just 500ft (152m) of quay and a single Paceco Vickers portainer crane.
Continual investment over the last 50 years has ensured that the Port of Felixstowe has maintained its position as the clear market leader. Today, the port handles the world’s largest container ships and boasts nine berths providing over 3,000 metres of deep-water container quay serviced by 33 ship-to-shore gantry cranes.
On Thursday 22 June, the Mayor and Mayoress were welcomed aboard the OOCL Hong Kong, the world’s largest container ship, with a capacity of 21,413 TEU, on its maiden call at the Port of Felixstowe.
The call represented a double celebration it also marked the return of OOCL to the UK’s largest container port after a 17 year absence.