Success of Welsh Ports requires all hands on deck

Economy and Infrastructure Secretary Ken Skates has today stressed the importance of a collaborative approach to growing ports and connected economic activities throughout Wales.

With Welsh Government support, the Welsh Ports Group has organised a reception during London International Shipping week to offer ports professionals a unique opportunity to network and promote Welsh ports and their services, as well as promote Welsh ports to the international community.

Speaking at the event, Economy and Infrastructure Secretary Ken Skates said:
“Ports in Wales are uniquely placed to be a driving force for economic wealth by supporting economic growth and jobs throughout Wales, as well as bringing added value to local communities.

“This is an important transitional year for Welsh Government us as we look forward to the devolution of ports related functions from next year under the Wales Act 2017. Devolution will bring exciting opportunities for us to enhance our working relationships with the sector and support the key role it has to play in achieving a prosperous, secure united and connected Wales.

“Collaborative working with the ports sector and businesses throughout Wales on the unique risks and opportunities Brexit represents is crucially important to ensure solutions which maximise the economic contribution ports make to our communities.

“I am delighted to have been given the opportunity to provide funding and speak at the Welsh Ports Groups’ reception for London International Shipping Week. This event further enhances the already strong engagement we have with the sector, Government and businesses stakeholders which are reliant on strong ports links.”

Callum Couper, Chair of the Welsh Ports Group, said;
“Ports in Wales handle some 55 m tonnes of cargo each year, over 10% of UK trade, and are essential infrastructure to support energy, manufacturing, construction, mining, agriculture and retail sectors of the economy both within Wales and the UK nationally. Ports are powerful facilitators of investment and employment and also support environmentally sustainable modes of cargo transport, reducing carbon emissions.

“The Welsh Government has long recognised the substantial contribution ports make to the economy of Wales. Together, the Welsh Ports Group and the Welsh Government are ensuring Wales’ ports are ready to meet the challenges and capitalise on the opportunities ahead.”

The Welsh Ports Group comprises of leaders from the majority of ports across Wales. Coordinated by the British Ports Association and the UK Major Ports Group, it provides regular advice and briefing to the Welsh Government and key decision makers across the planning, transport and maritime sectors.

Speaking to a packed Drapers’ Hall in the City of London at its AGM lunch on 21st April, British Ports Association (BPA) Chairman Andrew Moffat, Chief Executive of the Port of Tyne, set out the ports industry priorities for the next Government.

London International Shipping Week 2017 comes of age and is hailed as the best yet

London International Shipping Week 2017 has been hailed a resounding success with thousands of global shipping industry leaders attending more than 160 official events throughout the week.

Initial estimates place the number of UK and international visitors at over 15,000 but this figure could rise even further when the number of ‘unofficial’ events are considered.

Such was the international interest in the week that #LISW17; #LISW2017; and @LISW17Official trended on Twitter twice during the week, with an estimated 11.2 million user twitter reach.

Indeed, visitors from over 50 countries attended the week, including 15 ministers from foreign governments such as Saudi Arabia, Nigeria and Ghana.

The UK government used the week to host bilateral meetings with politicians and senior industry figures to explore partnerships, future opportunities outside the European Union and examine how to help significantly boost maritime exports.

LISW17 opening the London Stock Exchange Monday September 11th, 2017

It really was a week of business with all event organisers reporting very strong attendances at their events. Such was the interest of the varied subject matter under discussion and the high quality of the venues, that the opinion was that London International Shipping Week had come of age and was truly a global must-attend event.

Reflecting on the successes of the past week, Jeremy Penn, Chairman of the LISW17 Steering Group, paid tribute to the strong cooperation that existed between Government and industry.

“LISW17 was bigger and stronger than the previous events in 2015 and 2013 and this reflects not only the importance of government and industry cooperation in helping to promote London and the UK’s prominent role in world shipping, but also the realisation by shipping that London is firmly at the heart of this global industry,” he said.

More than 550 people attended the official LISW17 flagship conference on Thursday September 14th, while just under 1,000 guests and VIPs attended the Gala Dinner in the evening. Both were held at the Grosvenor House Hotel in London’s Park Lane.

“The buy in to LISW17 by industry and government – not just in the UK but globally – has been astounding. While we were anticipating a very strong event, boosted by the attention surrounding Brexit as well as the green shoots of recovery in many key shipping sectors, it is true to say that the actual outcome far exceeds our expectations,” said Sean Moloney and Llewellyn Bankes-Hughes, Directors of the event organisers Shipping Innovation.

Further information about LISW17 can be found on the dedicated event website: or you can follow us on Twitter @LISW17.

ABP delivers on LISW 2017’s international ambitions

Image caption: Maritime Minister the Rt Hon John Hayes MP OBE opens ABP’s event at Somerset House

High ranking officials from the United States Maritime Administration and Chinese investors interested in the UK’s maritime sector mingled with Government ministers and senior civil servants at a series of flagship events facilitated by ABP at the heart of London International Shipping Week.

Titled UK Ports and Maritime: Unlocking a Global Opportunity, the event hosted by ABP with the American Embassy and the Department for Transport looked at the future of maritime trade.

As well as bilateral discussions, the event saw presentations on securing free trade deals; Free Trade Zones; and international trade security and resilience. Speakers included Professor David Collins, Professor of International Law at City University and a renowned expert on free trade deals, and Rishi Sunak MP.

Maritime Minister the Rt Hon John Hayes MP OBE opened ABP’s event at Somerset House.

He said: “I am delighted to have opened this important conference and listen to numerous good ideas on how our ports can continue to support prosperity on both sides of the Atlantic. “London International Shipping Week is the most special and extraordinary promotional opportunity for the UK maritime industry in recent history. “For us to seize the promise and the opportunities after our exit from the EU we must draw on our glorious past, by rejuvenating our heritage to once again be a truly global, seafaring, trading nation.”

Later, ABP’s American guests and their UK counterparts had lunch at the House of Commons and heard from Lucy Chadwick, Director General of the DfT’s International, Security and Environment Group.

Working in partnership with the Department for International Trade and Maritime UK, ABP supported LISW’s International Maritime Xchange event, which also took place at Somerset House.

The Xchange introduced international investors, including several delegations from China, to aspects of the UK’s world-class maritime sector. The event also saw the media launch of the Mayflower Autonomous Ship project to recreate the famed voyage of the Pilgrim fathers from Plymouth to New England only with an entirely autonomous vessel.

ABP Chief Executive James Cooper hailed the events as evidence of a “powerful partnership” between business and Government.

“This is a fantastic example of business and government working together to deliver for the UK’s maritime sector,” he said. “It’s called London International Shipping Week for a reason and so we were determined to ensure it delivers on its international ambitions by linking up with two of the UK’s key trade partners in the United States and China.

“Ports and maritime represent a major global opportunity for the UK economy; an opportunity for Britain to increase its trade with countries throughout the world,” said Mr Cooper.

“Today, through the success of these events, we’ve demonstrated another way we can make a valuable contribution.”

Earlier in the week ABP had held a joint event for 250 guests at London’s City Hall with the Women’s International Shipping & Trading Association.

Note to editors:

About ABP

ABP is the UK’s leading ports operator with 21 ports and other transport related businesses creating a unique national network capable of handling a vast array of cargo.

ABP contributes £5.6 billion to the UK economy every year and supports 84,000 jobs. Our current investment programme promises to deliver an extra £1.75 billion for the economy every year.

ABP’s Port of Southampton is the UK’s largest export port, handling more than £40 billion of goods each year, with £36 billion of that destined for markets outside the EU.


• Handles over 1.5 million vehicles every year
• Generates around one quarter of the UK’s rail freight
• Has 1.4 million square metres of covered storage
• Has 1,000 hectares of open storage
• Handles around 90m tonnes of cargo each year
• Owns 5,000 hectares of port estate
• Has 87km of quay

Our five year investment programme is worth £1 billion. Our investment is designed to respond to the needs of our customers whose business relies on our ports for access to international and, in some cases, domestic markets.


Gareth Lewis Pressiana Naydenova Corporate Communications Manager Corporate Communications Advisor Tel: 020 7406 7814 Tel: 020 7406 7825 Mob: 07739 104 945 Mob: 07702 900 830 Email: Email:

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London’s future as the preeminent global shipping service centre is up for debate post Brexit

Standard Club debate at London International Shipping Week reveals that the winds of change are blowing

 Leaders of the shipping industry met to debate whether London would remain the preeminent global shipping service centre post Brexit. The debate was hosted at Lloyd’s by P&I insurer, The Standard Club, as part of London International Shipping Week.

About the event:

The event was attended by representatives from the global shipping industry and took place on Wednesday 13 September. It was hosted by Julian Bray, Editor-in-Chief of Tradewinds, at Lloyd’s.

Speaking at the event were:

  • Euripides L Evriviades, High Commissioner for the Republic of Cyprus
  • Kwasi Kwarteng, MP for Spelthorne and an economic historian
  • Michael Elwert, CEO, Elektrans Group Singapore
  • Philipp Wuenschmann, Head of Shipping, Berenberg Bank
  • Nicholas Fairfax, 14th Lord Fairfax of Cameron, Director, Sovcomflot UK

The following points were made:

Euripides L Evriviades, High Commissioner for the Republic of Cyprus:

  • Speaking about the impact of Brexit: “The only certainty is uncertainty”.
  • No deal has been agreed yet and no deal is better than a bad deal. The EU’s position is that those outside of the EU cannot have the same benefits of those in the EU.
  • The new Customs Union and the Community Customs Code:  new checks and controls will have a negative effect. At present 90% of the UK trade is handled by ports and the EU is the UK’s largest trading partner.        
  • UK shipping companies may lose the right to offer cabotage services throughout the EU.
  • The potential loss of ‘passporting’ rights by UK based Insurance firms will impact the sector
  • The UK may lose access to the Surveillance Information Systems provided by European Maritime Safety Agency (EMSA), which may cause delays. Ships trading with the EU will still have to abide by EU regulations.
  • The outcome of the “exit” negotiations and the resulting future relationship between the UK and the EU will be the biggest impact.
  • In conclusion: “It’s a divorce and a re-marriage of sorts. As the Englishman Darwin said, ‘It is not the strongest species that survives but the one that is most able to adapt to change.’”

 Kwasi Kwarteng MP:

  • London has a wonderful heritage of maritime trade and the port sector is very important to the economy. London’s place in the world has been built over time and won’t be diminished so easily.
  • On international trade: “People are fixated on trade deals but trade happens without deals. The country that the UK trades most with is the USA. If there is demand, there is trade.”
  • Today, 44% of our international trade is with the EU but 12 years ago this was 56% and so this was already a declining share due to globalisation, which may have been accelerated by Brexit.
  • The rest of the world has grown at a faster pace than Europe for the last 30 years.
  • When Kwasi Kwarteng MP visited Dubai with the transport committee he saw how much investment Dubai was putting into trading with London.
  • In conclusion: “Brexit will bring positive benefits for the UK.”

Michael P Elwert – Group CEO, Elektrans Group:

  • The competition to be the maritime hub is global. Brexit will influence London’s position in the maritime sector but there is more to it than Brexit.
  • Asia also has the same ambition to be a leading shipping hub and faces similar challenges to London.
  • To be a leading successful global maritime centre you need a number of factors including trade, brokers, ship finance and ship yards.
  • In conclusion: “London has not been as ambitious to lead in shipping until recently and this is long overdue.”

Philipp Wuenschmann, Head of Shipping, Berenberg Bank

  • Coming from the continent to the UK, the UK is more focussed on Brexit then the EU is. For example, in Germany the focus of the electoral debates is on migration rather than the impact of Brexit.
  • Brexit is not the main issue that will impact the London shipping sector. Other factors such as ship finance are an issue. There have been no ship financiers in London.
  • London was attractive as a hub for shipowners but the changes to the non-dom tax status earlier this year will impact whether shipowners stay in London
  • In conclusion: “Despite Brexit, London’s heritage of language and its tax system are very strong and this continues to make London a strong shipping centre.”

Nicholas Fairfax, 14th Lord Fairfax of Cameron, Director, Sovcomflot UK:

  • London is the pre-eminent centre for law, insurance and education – not just shipping. The cluster effect of London makes it a hub for business: the concentration of skills and services, ICS, IMO, Lloyd’s; plus time zone advantages.
  • London must not become complacent, other centres such as Singapore are competing hard especially in sectors of ports and operators. Leaving the EU will make the UK less constrained when it comes to global trade.
  • Brexit allows the UK to rediscover itself and trade with the world, unconstrained by the EU
  • Brexit will enable UK to choose the best people from around the world, not just from EU.
  • Artificial Intelligence and digitisation will have a huge impact on the industry, which will be bigger than Brexit.
  • In conclusion: “The government is committed to making international trade work post Brexit.”

Quote from The Standard Club:

Robert Drummond, Business Development Director of The Standard Club, concluded the debate by saying:

“London is currently the preeminent global shipping service centre, however it is clear that the winds of change are blowing and its future is less certain. Brexit brings both challenges and opportunities for the UK maritime sector and on a global scale this is only a small part of the equation as the impact of digitisation and artificial intelligence technology will radically change the sector. It is clear that London needs to continue to support its maritime services industries if it is to remain a major player.”


Notes to editors

Photos of the event are available on request.

Media contact

Vanessa Chance / Sally Walton

Direct Line: +44 20 7382 4740


About The Standard Club

The Standard Club is a mutual insurance association and is a member of the International Group of P&I Clubs. The Standard Club insures 150m gt of shipping and the active insurance companies have an S&P A (strong) rating.  The club is managed by Charles Taylor plc group companies.

About Charles Taylor plc

Charles Taylor provides professional services to make the business of insurance work efficiently.  We have been providing insurance-related professional services since 1884 and today we employ over 1,800 permanent and contract staff in 71 offices spread across 29 countries in the UK, the Americas, Asia Pacific, Europe the Middle East and Africa.

The Group operates through three businesses – Management Services, Adjusting Services and Insurance Support Services.  We also own international life insurers, creating value by undertaking targeted acquisitions and achieving operational efficiencies.

Our breadth of services, our technical skills and resources and our global presence means we can manage and resolve virtually any insurance-related matter, wherever and whenever it occurs. Further information is available at


Today the Port of London Authority (PLA) gave more than 70 delegates to London International Shipping Week a unique perspective on the Port of London.  On a 60 plus mile round trip on board an MBNA Thames Clipper fast ferry, they heard from representatives of Trinity House, Tideway, Thames Clippers, the Environment Agency, Tate & Lyle, Ford, Cobelfret, Navigator Terminals, Port of Tilbury and London Gateway Port about their respective development and investment plans.  En route they also saw the departure of the latest Thames record setter, the 293 metre long cruise ship, Mein Schiff 3, the largest ever ship to call at London International Cruise Terminal.

Among the guests on board was Ulsan Port Authority president, JY Kang, PhD,  who was presented with a Port of London plaque by chief harbour master, Bob Baker.

London is the UK’s second biggest and fastest growing port, according to the latest Department of Transport statistics; terminals along its banks collectively handled over 50 million tonnes of cargo in 2016.  The 20-year ‘Thames Vision’ for the long term development of the port is for it to be the biggest it has ever been, handling up to 80 million tonnes a year.

Photo: Delegates on board the MBNA Thames Clipper hear from Ford’s Dagenham plant director, Paul Neighbour

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