Felixstowe’s fenders for bigger vessels

The port is being dredged to 16m, in order to welcome the larger vessels The port is being dredged to 16m, in order to welcome the larger vessels

There’s a growing need for ‘super-sized’ fenders brought about by the global rise in vessel sizes, says Richard Hepworth of Trelleborg Marine Systems.

Mr Hepworth poined out, “With global shipping trends showing that the UK will need to double its present container capacity to meet demand in 2025, expanding the UK’s ports is of major strategic importance should the UK secure the additional deepwater capacity it requires.

“There has been a significant rise in demand for the new breed of ‘super-sized’ fenders designed to tackle greater load bearing requirements, brought about by the strong movement towards larger vessel sizes that is taking place. While some ports have been slow to upgrade their infrastructure to accommodate larger vessels, the Port of Felixstowe is well aware of the need to develop its capabilities to accommodate larger vessels.”

The Port of Felixstowe is the UK’s largest container port, which handles over 3.1m TEU per year. When fully developed, the reconfiguration will increase the quay length available for container handling by close to 900 metres, giving a total quay length of 1,285 metres.

Together with the Port’s Trinity Terminal, Felixstowe will be able to provide a total of over four kilometres of deepwater container facilities, and total capacity at the Port will increase by nearly 50%.

With a relatively small coping beam on the jetty, Trelleborg engineers were able to design a solution in order to supply super cone fenders that could work around the requirements of this jetty.

Trelleborg supplied SCN 1400 super cone fenders, which are known for their energy capacity and low reaction force. These fenders have an excellent track record for having a long lifecycle whilst providing exceptional reliability.

The conical shape means the fender maintains stability under all combinations of axial, shear and angular loading. Super cone fenders are ideal for berths where heavy impacts need to be accommodated and to support the vessel sizes expected at Felixstowe South, the largest available examples were required.

Felixstowe South already has the deepest approach channel of any container port in the UK. Currently standing at 14.5m below Chart Datum, it will be dredged to 16 metres alongside the quay wall. This will enable Felixstowe to handle more of the latest generation of container vessels, providing a significant boost to the economy, both locally and in the Eastern region as a whole, securing the port's position as a major European trade hub.

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