Tuesday, April 2, 2024

Trade chaos as Suffolk-Norfolk shipping route blocked

trade blocked on Beccles Canal
The Hold Yew Hard stuck on the Beccles Canal (Photo: unknown Twitter)

By Ian Bred, Norfolk Correspondent

There was a growing trade crisis in East Anglia today as a cargo vessel remained wedged across the main shipping route between Suffolk and Norfolk.

The Hold Yew Hard, carrying vital supplies of cakes and pastries, was seemingly blown off course by a gust of wind, running aground and blocking the country’s busiest shipping route.

Hundreds of ships are now stuck in queues in either direction, meaning a logistical nightmare for companies in both counties.

The Beccles Canal was built in 1974 to cut down shipping times between Suffolk and Norfolk.

Previously, ships had to go up the east coast from Felixstowe to Great Yarmouth. Now, vessels need only go on a straight line from Ipswich to Norwich, shaving minutes off the journey time.

East Anglian logistics expert Lorraine Fisher, 34, said the blockage near Bungay was causing chaos.

“The Hold Yew Hard is wedged sideways across the canal and is causing lengthy delays.

“Special dredging equipment and tugs are arriving all the time to try and refloat it.

“Meanwhile, 79 boats are already stuck in queues waiting yo get through.

“The shipments include a crate of soap destined for Norfolk, which would normally last the whole of the county for five years, and a consignment of six-fingered gloves.”

There is also a lot of Amazon goods, including a container of MacGregor golf clubs that were meant to arrive in time for golf courses reopening today.

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