London’s maritime sector can benefit from Liverpool’s lessons learned

Sir Michael Bibby speaks at SPNL. Photo: Myak Homberger

Sir Michael Bibby speaks at SPNL. Photo: Myak Homberger

Shipping Professional Network in London (SPNL) held their last event of the year on Tuesday, with guests travelling far and wide to hear views and opinions on the next generation in shipping and the future of maritime London.

Speaking at the new London offices of the UK Chamber of Shipping, Sir Michael Bibby, Managing Director of Bibby Line Group, addressed the question: In today’s high tech global maritime industry does it really matter where you are based?

Focusing on the ‘next generation’, he asked London firms: “Are your aspiring managers seeking experience elsewhere? Are you too expensive if you are based in London?” before advising that tomorrow’s challenge is to “stay relevant and ahead of the competition”.

Bibby Line is the only deep sea ship owner headquartered in Liverpool and Sir Michael outlined the city’s rise from the declining years of the 1960s to today’s vibrant maritime cluster with burgeoning marine professional services. He highlighted that the port of Liverpool now handles record cargo volumes and benefits from new investment in its container and cruise terminals and shipyard. 

“London has great strengths particularly through the quality of its people and its central position at the heart of maritime finance, insurance and legislation,” he said, adding the warning to “beware – make sure you know what your customers want and adapt to new technologies while keeping a close eye on increasing international competition.”

Sir Michael was speaking alongside Marcus Bowman, Vice President of the UK Chamber of Shipping and a Partner with international law firm Holman, Fenwick Willan.

Thanking both speakers, SPNL Chairman Claudio Chiste from Investec Bank said: “We are pleased that our members and guests have been fortunate to hear views and opinions on the next generation in shipping and the future of maritime London straight from the prominent leaders of the shipping industry and experts in their fields.”

The event raised £400 for the Mission to Seafarers.