A total of 310 pallets of humanitarian aid were unloaded from ships onto the temporary jetty off the coast of Gaza on the first day of its operation on Friday, according to the Israeli Defence Forces (IDF).

The IDF said on Saturday that they take control of the aid when it arrives in Gaza, saying that they “continue our efforts to facilitate the movement of humanitarian aid to Gaza”, though it is distributed by the World Food Programme.

Meanwhile, the American container ship the Sagamore, which most recently departed from Cyprus two weeks ago to deliver aid to Gaza via the Israeli port of Ashdod, was stationed off the coast of Larnaca on Saturday, according to maritime tracking companies.

According to the same companies, the roll-on/roll-off US army ship the USAV Major General Charles P Gross, which was off the coast of Gaza on Friday morning, was en route to Larnaca on Saturday.

A shipment of aid coordinated by the United Kingdom had arrived in Gaza on Friday evening, according to the country’s Foreign Secretary David Cameron.

“This is a major step forward,” Cameron said, adding “the floating pier will mean we can deliver up to 150 trucks of additional aid a day.”

The UK looks likely to step up its contribution to the aid corridor in the near future, with the ship the RFA Cardigan Bay set to join the effort, according to US Central Command deputy commander Vice Admiral Brad Cooper.

Speaking on Friday, he added that there are 1,000 US soldiers and sailors “committed to this mission”, and that 14 ships belonging to the US and “partner nations” are “solely focused on this one mission to deliver assistance to the people of Gaza.”

At present, he said, “we have hundreds of tonnes of aid on ships in the Eastern Mediterranean ready for delivery. Thousands of tonnes of aid are in the pipeline. We are seeing significant volumes of aid flow into Cyprus for further distribution, and we expect this flow will continue as more international donors contribute.”

He added that Cyprus has been “highly supportive of this overall effort to establish a maritime corridor”, and that the US now has two “coordination cells” in place in the region; one in Cyprus and one in Israel.

Now it is in place, the jetty’s capacity will begin at 90 lorryloads per day, rising to 150 per day once the operation is in full swing. Vice Admiral Cooper said on Friday this translates to around 500 tons (454 tonnes) per day.