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.
Vanessa Chance / Sally Walton
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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 www.ctplc.com
EXPORTERS URGED TO EXPLORE EMERGING MARKETS AS INDUSTRY UNITES FOR LONDON INTERNATIONAL SHIPPING WEEK.
In the week that global maritime leaders gave the UK a vote of confidence, naming it one of the world’s leading maritime centres, PD Ports is urging UK businesses not to develop ‘Brexit blinkers’ but instead to explore significant new global opportunities as the UK negotiates its exit from the EU.
Industry data shows UK export performance as a whole has been stronger outside the Single Market than within the EU over the last decade according to PwC’s UK Economic Outlook report.
Although Brexit will bring challenges to the UK export market, there are equal opportunities to increase their focus on key emerging markets such as Asia in the medium and long-term, allowing businesses to take a truly global approach rather than limiting themselves to trade within the Union.
The call from PD Ports, which owns and operates Teesport, one of the UK’s deepest water ports, has come during London International Shipping Week (LISW) taking place in the capital this week.
The North East is the only region to consistently achieve a trade surplus and at Teesport and on the River Tees, over £1bn has been invested direct by PD Ports and through third party investors to projects in the last decade, including the opening of a new £6m ship-to-shore crane in July. The investment has contributed to ensuring the area has the necessary infrastructure and capacity to meet growing customer demand, keeping both Britain’s import and export industries moving.
Speaking from LISW, business development director, Geoff Lippitt, said: “There’s a risk that concerns about trade following Brexit could lead to some businesses developing ‘Brexit blinkers’ and not actively exploring some of the exciting emerging markets which could be available to them to enable us to truly become a global export centre. The North East especially provides the perfect platform to launch these ventures, with infrastructure and skilled people perfectly placed to drive national export activity.
“Brexit will clearly bring challenges and unpredictability across a number of issues, but it undoubtedly provides an opportunity for companies to operate across a wider global platform. We, as a nation, should ensure that we are very much open for business.”
Prime Minister Theresa May recently visited Teesport to talk about the future economic potential of the region and the major progress of the port as one of the UK’s most important export hubs.
In addition, a campaign to introduce free port status in the North East, enabling raw materials and components to be imported, processed or manufactured and then exported as finished product exempt from taxes, was also recently supported by a number of local MPs.
To find out more, visit http://www.pdports.co.uk/
- PD Ports, based in North East England, is one of the UK’s major port groups backed by a multi award-winning logistics business, specialising in portcentric logistics.
- PD Ports owns and operates Teesport one the deepest water ports in the UK and a key driver in the North east economy.
- Other UK operations include the short sea ports of Groveport, Howden and Keadby. The group also operates the largest single warehousing facility at the Port of Felixstowe as well as operations at medina Wharf, Isle of Wight.
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
This week is London International Shipping Week (LISW) and as Chairman of the British Ports Association, Shoreham Port’s Chief Executive, Rodney Lunn will be attending a number of events held by international shipping and marine trade associations and UK Government (known as Supporting Organisations).
LISW 2017 will feature over 140 industry functions and networking opportunities in London, attended by leaders across all sectors of the international shipping industry. An estimated 15,000 industry leaders are expected to attend the week, suggesting a global networking opportunity of the highest level.
The British Ports Association (BPA) will be playing a key part during the week and believes that LISW represents an excellent opportunity for the ports industry to promote its unique offer as well encourage more focus on creating a competitive policy and transport environment in the UK.
The BPA’s Chief Executive, Richard Ballantyne commented “London International Shipping Week is a unique occasion when the UK maritime sector comes together with customers, industry partners and government representatives. It is an unrivalled opportunity for the sector to gain profile and to influence the various tiers of government. We are keen to use the occasion to highlight the challenges and opportunities UK ports currently face. As a UK-wide association we are also pushing for more of a national flavour, with greater cross sector scope.”
Rodney Lunn, Chief Executive at Shoreham Port added “I am delighted to be representing Shoreham Port and the BPA at the third LISW. It has been a good opportunity to not only raise issues for the BPA, but also to highlight the importance of coastal shipping within the UK and the key role ports like Shoreham play. By moving more freight off UK roads and onto coastal ships, congestion and air quality on our roads can be improved.”
London International Shipping Week is held every two years and this year runs from 11th to the 15th September 2017. Further details can be found at www.test.londoninternationalshippingweek.com.
Trade body’s Careers at Sea campaign aims to plug shortfall in numbers of British seafarers.
The UK Chamber of Shipping and the Merchant Navy Training Board has today launched a campaign to boost the number of young people entering maritime careers, as part of their ‘Careers At Sea’ campaign.
An ageing population and growth in the global shipping industry has led to an increased demand for British seafarers, and the campaign will highlight the diverse range of professional opportunities available to young people who choose to enter the UK’s most international sector.
The short film, titled ‘To Sea or Not to Sea’, was produced by ITN Studios and will be promoted across social media in an effort to raise awareness of the maritime sector.
The campaign coincides with activity by the Chamber to encourage the government to double its contribution to maritime training, from £15m per annum to £30m. The new scheme, called SMarT (Support for Maritime Training) Plus, would see industry match any government contribution to seafarer training as well as guaranteeing a job for newly-trained cadets for a minimum of one year.
A recent study conducted by the Chamber pointed to the shortfall of British seafarers that the industry may have to face, and the campaign represents an effort to address this issue head on.
Data in the study show that for every pound spent by the Government on SMarT between 2011/12 and 2015/16, the UK economy has benefited by £4.8, and that for every job created in the maritime sector, five are created elsewhere in the country.
The UK’s seafarer population is ageing. If the UK does not respond with positive measures to ensure that employment prospects for its seafarers remain strong, it will lose its pool of talent and expertise.
And the industry is facing increasing competition from elsewhere. Other maritime centres, most notably Hong Kong and Singapore, are actively seeking to attract maritime business. Countries whose living costs are lower than the UK’s are training seafarers to the required international standards who can work on UK ships.
Jonathan Roberts, Director of Communications at the UK Chamber of Shipping, said:
“This film is the latest example of our determination to raise shipping’s profile. The industry needs to continuously modernise its communications approach if it is to be relevant to the national media, political and public audiences.
“The UK has a diverse economy, with many industries competing to attract the attention of young talent. This film is a statement of our ambition, it makes us stand out from the crowd and will help us to find the next generation of world class seafarers.
“It should also be seen in the context of our proposals to increase government funding for seafarer training. We are doing our bit to promote a career at sea, and if government is able to do the same than we can achieve our aim of doubling the number of young people entering the industry.”
Kathryn Neilson, Director of the Merchant Navy Training Board (MNTB), said:
“We know there are many talented young people in the UK who want a career in the Merchant Navy, but there are many more talented young people out there who we could attract to the industry if only they knew of the opportunities available to them.
“This film marks a shift in our approach. In the months ahead we will dedicate significant resource to targeting social media users, and together with our Careers At Sea Ambassadors who travel the country to speak at careers events, schools and youth groups, we will ensure young people from all backgrounds, and all corners of the UK, are able to see the vast opportunities are career at sea can provide.”
NOTES TO EDITORS:
For more information go to the www.careersatsea.org website
The film has been produced in partnership with ITN Productions.
ITN Productions is ITN’s in-house production business which produces bespoke creative and commercial content for broadcasters, businesses, brands, rights holders and digital channels. This includes TV programmes across factual, entertainment and current affairs for UK and international channels, TV commercials and branded content, corporate video and industry news programming, sports live coverage, clips and programmes and shortform video online and on mobile. ITN Productions has a full in-house post production facility.
We work with brands, agencies and broadcasters to create award-winning TV commercials and branded content. As experts in live and reactive advertising production we pioneer new and creative ways to communicate brand stories and marketing messages across a wide range of platforms. In December 2016 our global live co-production for Virgin Holiday’s was named Campaign of the Year by Marketing Week. Our work has won 4 Gold Media Week Awards and the Grand Prix in addition to two Gold Cannes Lions.
For more information visit: www.itnproductions.co.uk.
For more information or to arrange interviews, contact:
Henry Kirby, Senior Consultant at Right Angles
+44 (0) 7714 471152
Duncan Bray, Consultant at Right Angles
+44 (0) 7972 22 4445