Digital shoppers must understand the vital role shipping plays in delivering their goods, Princess Royal tells industry leaders

Her Royal Highness The Princess Royal, Patron of Maritime UK, demonstrated the importance of London International Shipping Week (LISW) by attending a VIP reception at Banqueting House on Tuesday evening (September 10).

With her usual wit, charm and insight, Princess Anne spoke knowledgeably about the international maritime sector, the role of the seafarer, and modern global trade.

Addressing those among the 500 guests “with real faith in the digital world,” The Princess Royal raised a laugh by saying: “Feel free – I think we need a backup!”

Outlining the important role LISW plays in raising awareness of the depth and breadth of the maritime sector, she said: “The digital world is an interesting one and it’s quite ‘press button’. Somehow we’ve got to get across to those online shoppers that it doesn’t arrive from so far through the ether – it has to find slightly more prosaic ways of getting there.”

“You represent the vast majority of the method by which they receive the things that they press the button for,” she told LISW grandees, “This week is a really important part of understanding where our investments need to go.”

Her Royal Highness, a great supporter of the maritime sector, seafarers and the Royal Navy, said: “As an island we definitely need to understand the critical value of the sea to us and, as an island nation how to deal with it, and what it means to us in a much wider capacity.”

She advised: “If we want our trade to travel at sea, then the people who do that and the ships that they’re in, need to be as good as they can, so the people that back them up, the skills that they need, and the innovations that need to go with that to develop safer ways of transporting our goods by sea will remain a key to all of your interests.”

To the audience of shipping industry leaders, she said: “It is hugely encouraging to know that there are so many of you who have accepted the invitation to come and raise the profile of the maritime sector globally. I’m delighted that you are making this week what it is – an international event.”

The reception at Banqueting House, hosted by Her Majesty’s Government and Maritime UK, formally welcomed the many industry leaders and overseas Ambassadors to London for this premier shipping industry event, which features more than 200 meetings, seminars, conferences and round tables. Speeches were also given by the Secretary of State for Transport, the Rt. Hon. Grant Shapps MP; Rt. Hon. Nusrat Ghani MP, Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Maritime; Lord Mountevans, Chair of the LISW Board of Advisors, and Harry Theochari, Chair of Maritime UK.