The Port of Felixstowe, in Felixstowe, Suffolk is the UK's busiest container port, dealing with 35% of the country's container Cargo. It was developed following the abandonment of a project for a deep-water harbour at Maplin Sands. In 2005, it was ranked as the 28th busiest container port in the World and Europe's sixth busiest. The port handled 3.3 million twenty-foot equivalent units (TEU) of traffic in 2007, a ten percent increase on 2006.
Terminals: The port has two main container terminals, Trinity and Landguard as well as a RO-RO terminal, Dooley. There is a continuous quay of over 2.3 km, equipped with 29 ship-to shore gantry cranes. The main navigation channel is dredged to 14.5 metres below chart datum, with a maximum depth of 15 metres alongside the quay. This allows Felixstowe to accommodate the world’s latest generation of deep-draughted post-Panamax vessels. The port has its own police force, fire and ambulance services. The port is operated by the Felixstowe Dock and Railway Company, which is one of the few limited companies in the UK that do not have the word "Limited" in their name as it was set up under an Act of Parliament, the Felixstowe Railway and Pier Act 1875. In turn, the Dock and Railway Company is wholly owned by Hutchison Port Holdings Ltd (HPH), a subsidiary of Hutchison Whampoa which holds an 80% share of HPH. Much of the land on which it sits is owned by Trinity College, Cambridge.
Transport connections: The A14 connects the port to the English Midlands via the M6, the north via the M1 and M6 and A1 and via the A12 to London. Each terminal has its own rail terminal which connects to the Felixstowe Branch Line.
In 2008 work began on the construction and reconfiguration of Felixstowe South terminal creating 1,300m of quay served by 13 new ship-to-shore gantry cranes. Work will be carried out in two stages with 750m of sea wall complete by the end of 2010 and stage which is expected to open in 2014. This new terminal will have a clearance of 16m and gantries suited for extra large box carriers.
Felixstowe and Nuneaton freight capacity scheme:
The railway track between Felixstowe and Nuneaton will be upgraded to allow for more freight trains and it will also be cleared to W10 loading gauge to allow 'Hi-cube' shipping containers to be carried between the Port of Felixstowe and the West Coast Main Line at Nuneaton. The West Coast Main Line is already cleared to W10 and the route from Nuneaton to Birmingham is already cleared to W12. This work will accommodate additional freight traffic as a result of 'Felixstowe South' expansion at the Port of Felixstowe and from the proposed new Bathside Bay container terminal at Harwich. It will also allow the newer high-cube containers to be carried by train - and the percentage of these containers is expected to increase from 30% in 2007 to 50% in 2012. Network Rail completed the gauge enhancement from Ipswich to Peterborough in 2008. Work should be completed by 2014. at an estimated cost of £291 million.