HMS Biter.

Over February and March 30 cargo ships arrived and 29 departed the port of King’s Lynn, with 17 and nine in ballast respectively.

February’s shipping was adversely affected by storms delaying sailings but better weather and good tides in March allowed an upturn in trade.

UKD Seahorse completed works to level off the docks after dredging and undertook berth preparation at riverside quay.  HMS Biter, a naval patrol vessel, paid a courtesy visit to Lynn and welcomed members of the public on board.

Timber imports from Scandinavia have continued. Five ships discharged part cargoes after having first unloaded at Seaham (2), Hull (2) and Rochester (1).  The single full cargo was delivered by SMN Explorer direct to Lynn from Varberg in Sweden.

A variety of other commodities imported from Europe included two ships carrying vermiculite from Antwerp and Rotterdam. 

This is a mineral used as insulation material.

Five single cargoes were handled over the two months. The Kongsfjell transported building material from Randers in Denmark; the Anita carried fertiliser from Amsterdam, the Fokko Ukena unloaded wheat from Hamburg; the Sea Harmony discharged maize from Amsterdam and the Tjonger potash (fertiliser) from the same Dutch harbour.

Lynn’s exports were again its significant staples. English barley is in demand throughout Europe and eight cargoes were shipped. 

Three vessels carried full loads to Rotterdam and two more to Belfast. Another two more ships had the Dutch ports of Dordrecht and Eemshaven as destinations.

Lynn has historic trading links to Iceland.  In February the Theseus transported barley to Akureyri in north Iceland and in March the Wilson Wisla carried a mixed cargo of cereals to Reykjavik, which is Iceland’s capital with an excellent maritime museum.

Dr Paul Richards, member of the King’s Lynn Conservancy Board responsible for the navigation and pilotage of the port, takes a regular look at the port activity.
Pictured are conservancy board employees Simon Cott and Tim Coupland working on the offshore buoys marking the Race Bank cables.

Three ships departed Lynn with malted barley to Buckie in north-east Scotland where there are distilleries. This is another well established run.  

The Fokko Ukena which had imported wheat from Hamburg in February loaded the same cargo in March to carry to Londonderry in Northern Ireland. The Lady Mary had arrived from Immingham in ballast before transporting wheat to the same Irish city.

Two full cargoes of beans were exported to Rotterdam and Floro (Norway) by the Noest and Eems Stream respectively, another foodstuff from Lynn’s agricultural hinterland which has been despatched by our Wash port for centuries.

The mini mountain of scrap metal on Bentinck dock was diminished by four vessels transporting loads to Rotterdam, Dordrecht. Ghent (Belgium) and Bayonne (France). Two shipments on consecutive days were on the small vessels operated by the Port of Wisbech.

King’s Lynn Conservancy Board (KLCB) staff have continued to maintain navigational aids and survey the shipping channels. On a calm day in early March the St Edmund worked on upgrading the navigation buoys marking the route of Race Banks wind farm transmission cables within the Wash. 

With larger and deeper draft ships visiting Lynn, it is essential to constantly undertake such tasks. 

To ensure vessels are safely navigated in and out of the port through The Wash, KLCB has licensed pilots since 1898.

Associated British Ports (ABP) and KLCB staff count as essential workers to keep Britain trading and particularly to serve agriculture and food distribution. 

Special measures are naturally being taken to protect health and safety during the coronavirus pandemic.

The total tonnes (imports and exports) shipped through Lynn in the first three months of 2020 was 109,948. This was a small increase on the same period last year.