Maritime industry sails into most successful ever London International Shipping Week

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Global maritime leaders sailed full steam ahead into London in their thousands to attend the biennial London International Shipping Week 2023 (LISW23) which took place from 11th to 15th September.

More than 70 countries were represented by the 30,000 delegates, while a large number of overseas trade delegations met with UK Government officials as London and the UK underlined their importance in the global supply chain.

At the start of LISW23 (Monday 11th September) the Government outlined how coastal communities across the country are set to benefit from over £80 million of funding, also announcing the winners of the Zero Emission Vessel and Infrastructure fund (ZEVI). And on Thursday 14th the UK Transport Secretary unveiled a new package of clean maritime measures which aim to tackle greenhouse gas emissions in the UK’s transport sector while boosting economic growth. Maritime UK utilised LISW23 to publish the second Annual Report into its Government-backed ‘Regional Cluster Development Programme’ at the Global Maritime Hub while, speaking at the LISW23 Regional Showcase event, Maritime Minister Baroness Vere announced a £1million fund to support the work of dynamic and focused regional cluster organisations charged with the delivery of Maritime 2050 in their localities.

Transport Secretary Mark Harper said: “London International Shipping Week is the perfect time to showcase the work we’re doing to generate maritime jobs across the country and develop new, clean technologies.”

London’s expertise in shipping services was highlighted through the more than 350 events which took place during the packed LISW23 week in a myriad of impressive and iconic venues including: No 10 Downing Street; the UK Houses of Parliament; the International Maritime Organization’s headquarters; The Shard; The Gherkin; the London Stock Exchange; several Livery Halls; the Churchill War Rooms; Lloyd’s of London; the offices of many of the world’s top law firms; the In and Out Club in Piccadilly; the Little Ship Club; Trinity House; Tower Bridge Walkway; Inmarsat’s UKHQ; and the QEII Conference Centre. VIP receptions were hosted at Lancaster House, Mansion House, the Cyprus High Commission, and the residences of the Ambassadors of France and Belgium.

The strong nautical flavour was apparent in the number of unique ships which also hosted events including THV Galatea, HMS Belfast, Erasmus, Type 23 frigate HMS Iron Duke, the Golden Hinde, the historic Havengore which bore Churchill’s coffin, and Artemis Technologies’ innovative electric workboat Pioneer of Belfast.

High level UK support was apparent – from the Government-hosted VIP reception, attended by HRH The Princess Royal in her role as patron of Maritime UK, to the 16 Ministerial speeches delivered over the week. In all, the Department for Transport was involved in more than 80 events, with the Department for Business and Trade, the Foreign Office, and the Scottish Office also taking part. The UK Chamber of Shipping advised during LISW23 that the value of shipping to the UK economy is 650,000 jobs, with every job in shipping supporting 10 more in the wider economy, and £1.1 trillion worth of trade.

Among the crucial issues discussed during LISW23 were decarbonisation and the protection of marine environments, innovation and technology, seafarer safety and well-being, equality and diversity, cyber security and AI, and numerous legal, insurance and trade matters in relation to global shipping and the supply chain.

In excess of 700 delegates registered for the LISW23 Headline Conference at the IMO, during which retiring IMO Secretary-General Kitack Lim was presented with a nautical barometer and wished “fair winds and following seas”. Also present at this event were more than 40 media representing national, international and trade press. Media coverage figures indicate a potential worldwide audience of more than a billion people, while the LISW23 official website handled more than 30 million hits. Social media during the week was flooded with the hashtag #LISW23 as the maritime community shared its news and views.

LISW23 concluded with a glittering Gala Dinner (pictured) attended by 1500 people at Evolution London in Battersea Park. Hosting for the first time, this impressive location, together with the first-ever LISW After Party, proved popular with delegates, who were also able to return to London via a fleet of specially chartered Thames Clipper Uber Boats, kindly sponsored by ShipMoney. The Gala Dinner also raised much-needed funds for the four official LISW23 maritime charities.

Reviewing a phenomenally successful week, Sean Moloney, co-founder of London International Shipping Week said: “The strength of London International Shipping Week is bringing together industry leaders from across the globe to examine in detail the most crucial issues facing international shipping and world trade. This 2023 LISW, in our tenth anniversary year, surpassed all expectations.”

LISW co-founder Llewellyn Bankes-Hughes added: “What a week this was, and definitely the most international of the six LISWs that we’ve held so far. It was excellent to see so many industry decision makers networking at the myriad of events and amazing venues throughout the week. Roll on LISW25!”

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