Government hails maritime industry as lifeblood of global trade with launch of London International Shipping Week

  • Leading global maritime event will show the UK is open for business and has a bright future in international trade.
  • More than 20,000 delegates flood to the capital amid a suite of new Government policies to further enhance the UK as a world maritime leader.
  • Ministers will meet with sector leaders to discuss ambitious future plans for maritime.

Maritime trade will take centre stage this week as 20,000 industry leaders head to the capital for London International Shipping Week

Cabinet members including the Secretaries of State for Transport, International Trade and Defence as well as the Minister for Maritime will attend events across the week to champion their continued support for the sector, and highlight the UK as a hub for international maritime trade.

The event will showcase the unique opportunities for international business that will reinvigorate the UK shipbuilding industry as we leave the EU on October 31, with the UK open for business as it looks towards a bright future in maritime trade.

Nusrat Ghani, Maritime Minister, said:

“Our maritime industry is thriving, and fundamental to our success as a trading nation, contributing £14.5 billion to the UK.

“And as the largest trade event this year, London International Shipping Week is a unique opportunity for us to promote our ambition for a Global Britain, and for the sector to secure fantastic trade for the UK.

“As we look to reframe our relationship with the world, government is determined to work with industry to showcase all the UK has to offer and I am delighted to welcome so many of our great trade partners to the capital.”

The UK has a proud maritime history, and shipping remains key to the economy, directly contributing £14.5 billion to the UK’s GDP and accounting for 95 per cent of British trade.

Ministers will use the week to set out a range of measures to support the maritime sector even further, as Government looks towards the UK’s role as a premier global trading nation post-Brexit, including plans and investments to strengthen UK ship-building, boost cutting-edge maritime technology, and increase the uptake of careers in the industry.

London International Shipping Week, which will showcase the breadth of the sector, will restate the UK’s position as leader in maritime and provide the opportunity to build meaningful bridges between companies and trading partners.

International Trade Secretary Liz Truss MP said:

“As the UK stands on the brink of a new era in our trading history, I’m committed to working with the maritime sector to ensure we remain a top trading nation. This week is a perfect opportunity to highlight our capabilities in areas such as digital technologies, shipbuilding, maritime science and services so we can capitalise on demand for British-built vessels from around the world.

“As an island nation, shipping is the lifeblood of our trading success. That’s why I’ll be establishing Freeports across the UK as soon as possible after we leave the EU, to drive growth and activity at our ports and ensure towns and cities across the UK benefit from post-Brexit trade opportunities. ”


During the week, the UK Ship Register will also launch its future plans for growth, highlighting the British ‘Red Ensign’ as a symbol of the UK’s competitive advantage, offering a vibrant global shipping service by providing world class surveyors and regulation to ensure the safety of seafarers’ vessels and the environment.


Ministers will also highlight the value of the shipping sector to key coastal communities, with the sector directly employing more than 186,000 people. Domestically Maritime drives vital local investment.


The attendees include Europe’s biggest ship owners and international delegations including Greece, Brazil, South Korea, USA, Singapore, Hong Kong and China.


London International Shipping Week 2019 (LISW19) got off to a flying start this morning as UK Government and industry opened trading at the London Stock Exchange (LSE).

Lord Mountevans, Chairman of the LISW19 Board of Advisors; Nusrat Ghani MP, Minister for Maritime and Kitack Lim, Secretary General of the International Maritime Organization (IMO) joined Nikos Gazelidis, Global Head of Shipping for ATPI Marine & Energy as well as leaders from global shipping to perform the market opening ceremony.

Lord Mountevans said: “We have been overwhelmed by the support of the UK Government, led by the Department for Transport, towards London International Shipping Week 2019. Alongside Ministerial presence, leaders from every sector of the global maritime industry will gather this week to take part in more than 200 meetings, seminars and functions. We are looking forward to welcoming the international maritime sector to London throughout the week.”

Taking place from September 9 to 13, LISW19 will be the must-attend event of the global maritime calendar. On Thursday 12th September, LISW19 culminates in a Headline Conference and spectacular Gala Dinner at the Grosvenor House Hotel, Park Lane.

Further information about LISW19 can be found on the dedicated event website: or you can follow us on Twitter @LISWOfficial or #LISW19. To find out how to register, please visit or download the LISW19 app by searching for LISW19 at the Google Play Store or App Store

New Maritime London report outlines steps to grow UK’s $6bn maritime businesses

A new report commissioned by trade promotion body Maritime London has set out 36 detailed recommendations to grow the UK’s $6bn – ­marine insurance, ship broking, legal, finance and classification industries. The UK has long been the global leader for professional maritime services, but faces increasing competition from centres including Singapore, US, China and Norway. The global market for maritime services is estimated to be worth $20bn.

Published today (9 September) at the start of London International Shipping Week 2019, Catching the Wave authored by the consultancy PwC in support of the UK Government’s Maritime 2050 Strategy provides a detailed roadmap of industry and government actions needed to strengthen the UK’s position in the maritime professional business sector. These recommendations include growing the UK’s base of international ship owners and charterers, extending leadership in technology, supporting green ship finance activities and increasing the UK’s talent pool.

Maritime London Chairman Lord Mountevans said:

“This detailed report should inspire industry and government to build on the strengths of the UK maritime cluster and seize new opportunities. The global market for professional maritime services is worth $20bn and is growing. We must work together to enhance the UK’s leading position as the world’s top maritime services cluster. Changing trade patterns, new vessel types, digital technologies and green solutions all offer us the opportunity to grow our market share, expand our businesses and increase our contribution to the UK economy.”

The report’s initiatives are grouped under six headings:

  1. Strengthen the core of ship owners and charterers
    Recommendations include the appointment of a government ‘shipping czar’ to drive a campaign to attract more ship owners and charterers to the UK
  2. Deepen the UK lead in specialist segments
    The UK has a significant lead in maritime disputes and insurance. Recommendations include the development of legal frameworks for AI, autonomous vessels and carbon emissions to strengthen this position
  3. Rebuild the UK’s position in ship finance
    The UK has a marginal presence in ship financing following the exit of RBS and Lloyds from the market. Recommendations to revive ship finance include achieving dual listings of large shipping companies on the London Stock Exchange; developing London as the leading offshore centre for RMB based ship leasing and greater sector outreach to the deep pool of UK based institutional investors.
  4. Extend the UK’s lead in technology
    Measures to improve the adoption of digital technologies by the maritime sector including the creation of a government and industry backed fund focused on supporting innovation and the designation of maritime as a priority sector within existing government schemes.
  5. Increase the talent pool
    The availability of skilled staff is a key driver of success for the maritime cluster. Ensure that post-Brexit visa and immigration rules mean that UK firms can recruit the best international staff as well as measures to increase the number of merchant officers, increase diversity and further internationalise the UK’s maritime colleges
  6. Enhance cluster effect benefits
    The positive effect of having multiple maritime service providers in one location needs to be further enhanced. Recommendations include working more closely with other European clusters, proactively engaging with developing economies and virtual clustering initiatives.

The report’s authors say that delivering the recommendations will require both government and authors to work closely together to implement them through a combination of work with the Department of Transport, the Treasury, the Department for International Trade and maritime associations.

A full copy of the report can be downloaded from here.


About Maritime London

Maritime London is a promotional body for UK-based companies professional services to the international shipping industry. Funded by over 140 companies and organisations from a wide range of disciplines, Maritime London ensures that the UK remains a world-beating location to base a maritime related business and to conduct maritime trade.

Notes to editors

  • Insurance
    The UK has a c.25% share of the global marine insurance market and employs 6000. The UK has 70% share of the market in offshore energy. Eight of the 13 Protection & Indemnity Clubs are managed from the UK.
  • Law
    Over 400 UK based law firm partners focus on maritime law, more than twice as many as the nearest competing centre. 80% of global maritime disputes are arbitrated in London.
  • Shipbroking
    Seven of the top 20 shipbroking firms (including two of the top three: Clarksons and Simpson Spence Young) are headquartered in London.
  • Classification
    Lloyd’s Register is one of the four large global classification societies which between them class over 70% of the global fleet.
  • Ship management
    The UK is the third largest location for third party ship management and is home to V Group, the world’s largest third-party manager.
  • Employment
    The professional maritime services sector is estimated to employ 10,000.

For more information, please contact:
Claire Sneddon

Navigate PR, The Baltic Exchange, 38 St Mary Axe, London EC3A 8BH
or 0203 326 8459 or 0782 447 8058.

LISW19 – Cyber Risk: immediate threats and growing concerns

LISW19 – Cyber Risk: immediate threats and growing concerns

Cyber Security remains one of the key issues facing the maritime sector and will be addressed by a number of international experts and thought leaders at the Hill Dickinson Cyber Security, Blockchain and Medicinal Cannabis event at LISW19 on 10th September 2019. The event will also provide a high level insight into how blockchain is playing an increasing role in the maritime sector and the particular challenges, both legal and insurance related, concerning the carriage of medicinal cannabis.

The event consists of a day of panels and debates with speakers from a number of international bodies including shipping companies, law firms, accountancy firms, ship registries, blockchain and medicinal cannabis companies and government departments. Issues to be discussed during the day include the increasing and new forms of risk in relation to Cyber Security and Connectivity in the marine field and how the sector can best handle the challenges surrounding a new commodity (legalised drugs). The day is to be chaired by economist and market strategist Dr. Martin Stopford, with key industry figures acting as moderators and keynote speakers.

Among the speakers already confirmed for the day are the UK Shipping Minister Nusrat Ghani, Captain John Sanford of the United States Navy, Ed Parkin VP of Inmarsat, Mark O’Neil CEO of Columbia Ship Management, Mariella Bottiglieri Managing Director of Giuseppe Bottiglieri Shipping Company SpA, Italy, Claes Westman – Head of Marine Insurance and Lead Risk Adviser at Maersk, Shaun Crawford – Global Vice Chair and Industry Global of Ernst & Young and Alan Mackinnion – Chief Claims Officer, UK P&I Club.

Julian Clark, Global Head of Shipping at Hill Dickinson said: “LISW is now the premier maritime event worldwide. We are delighted not only to be Platinum Sponsors of this event but that we have been able to bring together such a prestigious and extremely high level group of industry principals and commentators able to address three of the most significant factors facing our sector – cyber risk, blockchain, and the role to be played in the developing importance of the medicinal cannabis and legalised drugs industry. Not only will the panel discussions and mini debates create real opportunity for innovative discussion and thought leadership but the conclusions reached will develop initiatives, which we hope will lead to a more secure and efficient maritime sector.”

Visitors wishing to register for the event can do so by clicking here Cyber threat, revolutionising the supply chain and the carriage of legalised cannabis

Please contact Lydia Gordon by email for further information.


  • UK government publish Clean Maritime Plan to reduce emissions
  • New centre to run competition for innovative ways to reduce maritime emissions
  • Companies invited to join new initiative from August

A consortium of British companies, academia and government, have formally established a new national centre for maritime innovation and technology (“MarRI-UK”). The centre, offering exciting development opportunities for the UK’s £40bn maritime sector, is based at the University of Strathclyde, with hubs to be announced across the UK. The centre will provide a collaborative innovation vehicle to jointly tackle innovation and technology challenges.

The first area of collaborative focus is Clean Maritime. MarRI-UK will focus on research and innovation within mid TRL (3 – 7) levels to address the opportunities between “discovery and research” and “commercialisation” of maritime technologies and systems. It will develop a structured, coherent, and comprehensive approach leading to national and regional development and economic growth.

A maritime sector strengthened by MarRI-UK will help the co-ordination of research across the maritime sector by giving an understanding of commercial opportunities aligned to a shared roadmap. This will underpin government initiatives and investment and support the wider prosperity agenda linked to innovation.

Eight maritime companies (Babcock, BAE Systems, BMT Group, Cammell Laird, Lloyd’s Register, QinetiQ, Rolls-Royce and Shell),supported by the Society of Maritime Industries, and four universities (Newcastle, Southampton, Strathclyde and UCL) have been working to develop MarRI-UK since 2013. Led by Patrick Carnie of Babcock Marine and Technology and Professor Alex Duffy of the University of Strathclyde, the consortium have worked collaboratively with Maritime UK to attain support and secure funding from the UK Government through different streams.

In March 2019, this unique initiative gained government recognition when the Department for Transport (DfT), alongside investment from Babcock and BMT, agreed to fund the establishment of MarRI-UK. MarRI-UK is now launching a £1M competition for innovative ways to reduce maritime emissions on behalf of DfT.

The competition was announced today in London by the Maritime Minister, Nusrat Ghani as part of The Clean Maritime Plan, an ambitious plan set out by the Minister to cut pollution from the country’s maritime sector.

MarRI-UK is now at a stage where other organisations are being invited to join as a member and shape the research and innovation agenda. Membership will be opened to all UK industries of different sizes from August.

Sarah Kenny, Vice Chair of Maritime UK and CEO of BMT, said:

“The Clean Maritime Plan is an important step towards achieving a zero-emission future for the UK. Getting to net zero will not be easy, but it will present significant opportunities as well as the obvious challenges for all parts of our £40bn maritime sector. Maritime is already the greenest way of moving freight, but we can and must do more to reduce emissions.

“The good news is that the UK is well-placed to not only decarbonise our own economy, but also to share our expertise and capability with the rest of the world as they, too, embark on this most global of missions.

“For the first time, companies and universities from across the country have come together to collaborate through MarRI-UK, accelerating the UK’s maritime technological capabilities, particularly on decarbonisation.

“The key ingredient to realising our clean maritime ambitions is collaboration. Between companies, academia and with government. Today’s plan and government’s broader Maritime 2050 strategy, crafted with Maritime UK, provides a framework to do just that.”

Professor Alex Duffy from the University of Strathclyde, said:

“If you want to remain at the forefront of advancements, benefit from the collaborative network synergy, gain streamlined access to research and innovation expertise across the UK and help set the agenda and influence government policy, then MarRI-UK is for you. We are looking for sector-spanning pioneers to join MarRI-UK and spark change that will lead the way for the maritime sector of the future.”

To find out more, contact

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