Maritime UK welcomes Freeports Advisory Panel

In response to the news that the Government will be announcing a Freeports Advisory Panel to ensure the UK “is ready to trade post-Brexit”, Harry Theochari, Chair of Maritime UK, said: “We are pleased to see the Government is looking at plans to boost growth in the UK’s coastal communities, recognising the pivotal role that ports play in the UK economy. Free ports have proved successful in stimulating investment and jobs in a range of locations around the world, and there is no reason they couldn’t help contribute towards growth here in the UK.

However free ports are one piece of a much larger puzzle. Harry Theochari explains that: “We warmly welcome the Government’s focus on unlocking the potential of our coastal communities. Free ports can be one important piece of a large puzzle, including a range of measures which could be transformative to the fortunes of our seaside towns and cities.

“Maritime UK recently launched the Coastal Powerhouse, a brand new initiative which sets out the measures needed to unlock the potential of our coastal communities. This includes investing in maritime research and innovation in key areas like decarbonisation, unlocking new private investment in ports, investing in connectivity and infrastructure, and backing industry-led regional cluster hubs.

“Implementing free ports successfully requires time, collaboration and careful planning, but we are keen to work closely with government to ensure their plans are a success for the long term. The Government cites the success of free ports in the United States, where 250 free ports have been created, employing 420,000 people, many in high-skilled manufacturing jobs. To see the same success in the UK, government must work closely with industry and business leaders across the country. Our ports facilitate the movement of 95% of all UK trade, it’s vital that industry and government collaborates to ensure their successful future development.”

HFW Helps BIMCO Draft Industry’s First Offshore Decommissioning Contract

Maritime London member, HFW has helped shipping association BIMCO draft an industry standard offshore decommissioning contact. The contract – DISMANTLECON – has been approved by BIMCO’s Documentary Committee and will be released at the end of June, with guidance notes.

It can be used for removal of any offshore field architecture, including pipelines, mattresses, manifolds, jackets, topsides, platforms and monopole structures. HFW is the only law firm on BIMCO’s drafting sub-committee for this contract.

Inmarsat Announces Digital and Crew Welfare Events at London International Shipping Week

Events on digitalisation and crew well-being on 10th and 11th September to be co-hosted with WISTA International and the four LISW-supported maritime charities, including ISWAN’s International Seafarers’ Welfare Awards

Inmarsat, the world leader in global mobile satellite communications, has confirmed that it is renewing its support for London International Shipping Week (LISW) when the event returns for its fourth edition from 9th to 13th September 2019.  Inmarsat will be holding two industry-shaping events at its City Road headquarters during LISW, focusing on the crucial industry topics of crew welfare and digitalisation.

“Our events on digital disruption, cyber security and maritime safety during LISW 2017 demonstrated how satellite connectivity plays a pivotal role in enabling and accelerating the digitalisation of the entire shipping industry,” said Ronald Spithout, President, Inmarsat Maritime.

“In 2019, we are taking a more focused approach to the conversation, assessing how the new digital reality is taking shape in a variety of operational and business settings, including the importance of Maritime start-ups, and delivering more collaboration and interoperability.”

On 10th September, Inmarsat will host a day-long ‘digitalisation’ event. The day will begin with the launch of a new report into Maritime Start-Ups with presentations from successful Start-Up accelerator programmes across the UK and Europe.  This will be followed by a ‘Digitalisation in Marine Insurance’ seminar hosted by Insurance Marine News. The afternoon session will begin with a keynote speech from world-leading futurist Gerd Leonhard, and conclude with a panel discussion on Diversity and Digitalisation in the shipping industry.  Inmarsat will co-host this latter event with the Women’s International Shipping & Trading Association (WISTA) International.

Despina Panayiotou Theodosiou, WISTA International President said: “The transformation that digitalisation is bringing to the industry is not only in technology and operational processes but also in the way it provides access and opportunity to a more diverse skill set and population.  Innovative and forward-thinking leaders in our industry recognise that diverse thoughts, skill sets and approaches are the only way to keep pace with our rapidly changing industry.”

The second day (11th September), the four LISW nominated charities will come together to ask the industry to share its thoughts on the impact of technology on crew welfare, with a particular emphasis on mental well-being. As the industry embraces new technologies to make shipping safer, quicker and more environmentally friendly, Apostleship of the Sea (Stella Marris), The Mission to Seafarers, Sailors’ Society and Seafarers UK will draw on their 400+ years of combined experience to explore with industry leaders what the seafarers of the future will need in terms of welfare provision.

The crew welfare event at Inmarsat’s HQ will also include a keynote speech from Dr Grahaeme Henderson, Vice President, Shipping & Maritime, Shell International Trading and Shipping Company Ltd on: ‘How Shipping Can Thrive: Today, Tomorrow and in the Future’.  His presentation will examine the importance of seafarer well-being to business performance and share examples of technology application, its positive aspects and challenges. The remainder of the event will see four panel discussions covering how technology can improve life on-board, seafarer mental health and how maritime charities can prepare for the new technology age.

“Technologies do not operate in a vacuum and extracting their full potential is dependent on the officers and ratings who work and live at sea,” said Spithout. “With its broad scope and global audience, LISW offers an ideal platform to build on the progress made enhancing welfare among the people driving our industry.  We are delighted to be co-hosting an event dedicated to crew welfare with the four major maritime charities and the International Seafarers’ Welfare and Assistance Network (ISWAN).”

Nigel Shattock, Director of Fundraising & Communications at Seafarers UK, said: “The LISW nominated charities and ISWAN are thankful for Inmarsat’s support during London International Shipping Week. LISW is rightly all about strengthening and building commercial relationships, and re-confirming London’s key position within a global network of maritime businesses, regulators and related service industries. All this is built on a successful platform of ship operations, none of which would be possible without the crucial contribution of seafarers themselves. Our charities exist to serve seafarers in times of need, and in so doing we seek to support the maritime sector at large.”

The conference will be followed by ISWAN’s International Seafarers’ Welfare Awards ceremony, which honour the welfare heroes of 2019 (as nominated by seafarers) – see To find out more about both events and to register to attend visit:

Aqualis Buys Offshore Marine Business from Braemar

Aqualis, parent company of offshore marine and engineering consultancy Aqualis Offshore, has agreed to acquire the offshore, adjusting and marine business lines from Braemar Shipping Services. The combined company will be named AqualisBraemar and will offer offshore, adjusting, marine and renewables consultancy with a broadened service offering around the world.

The company’s head office will be in London, UK and David Wells will continue as ceo of the group.

The combination is subject to approval by Aqualis shareholders and is expected to take place in June 2019. Braemar says the disposal of the three lines of business would enable it to focus on its core, profitable activities of Shipbroking, Financial Advisory, and Logistics.

Maritime UK launches Expanded Maritime Masters Programme

Maritime UK has launched the second year of its Maritime Masters programme which is designed to bring industry and academia closer together.

Maritime London vice chair and chair of Maritime UK, Harry Theochari said: “Maritime UK is excited to be launching the second year of its Maritime Masters programme. Last year the programme got off to an impressive start, in no small part due to the calibre of our student finalists. Maritime 2050 sets us all a very big challenge, and through initiatives like this, we are responding, with industry and academia working closer than ever. The UK is the world’s maritime centre, and its academic and training assets are second to none. We wish all participants the best of luck!”

Students from participating universities are selected and matched with supporting companies and other industry bodies throughout their studies, before presenting their research to industry leaders at the finalist reception.

Key changes for 2019 include participating universities selecting three students to participate in the programme, allowing more students to benefit from mentoring and access to supporting companies. A single student from each university will be shortlisted and announced during London International Shipping Week. Ambassadors will also visit participating universities to promote the programme and participation in future years as well as discussing their contemporary commercial work with students.

Click here to find out more.

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