The Port of Felixstowe is the UK’s largest container port, handling 40% of national container traffic. It is undergoing significant investment and expansion, with capacity expected to grow by an additional million containers by 2025. The diverse nature of the ports in Norfolk and Suffolk means that they serve different markets and are influenced by different factors and disruptors, with Felixstowe’s main competitors the international gateways of Southampton and London Gateway. Great Yarmouth and Lowestoft have a more regional focus relating to the offshore energy sector.
The sector is characterised by a strong logistics sector with international firms such as Mediterranean Shipping Company in Ipswich, Goldstar Transport in Felixstowe, and a number of smaller offices in Felixstowe and Ipswich.
Lowestoft offers a wide range of servicing facilities for North Sea oil and gas and offshore wind farms and extensive marine leisure facilities. Ipswich Port, the largest UK agricultural exporter, offers roll-on/roll-off capabilities, potential renewable/ offshore facilities, rail connections and marine leisure facilities. Great Yarmouth is a modern multipurpose facility consisting of a deep water outer harbour and a river port servicing offshore wind and oil and gas. King’s Lynn is a regional hub for agricultural products offering extensive handling and storage facilities.
A series of smaller ports includes Wells, servicing wind farm workers, and coastal harbours serving smaller vessels and supporting fishing, leisure and tourism. Harwich, just outside the New Anglia LEP area, is the third busiest UK port for cruise traffic (and growing) and has also been utilised for offshore wind.
The Ports and Logistics sector within Norfolk and Suffolk has a workforce of 48,700 and 4,100 enterprises.