UK maritime industry’s economic impact revealed, new UK Shipping Concierge Service launched

HMS Albion arriving on the Thames to mark the start of London International Shipping Week.
Pic Credit: Ben Fitzpatrick/Todd-White Art Photography/PLA

A new study has revealed the significant economic impact of the UK maritime industry, contributing more than £56.4 billion per annum, a 19% increase from £47.4bn calculatd the last time statistics were produced for the industry in 2017.

The preliminary Centre for Economics and Business Research (CEBR) findings, commissioned by Maritime UK, come as global industry leaders converge on Britain for the start of this year’s London International Shipping Week (LISW21), the biennial event backed by the UK Government.

LISW21 also coincides with the launch of a new UK Shipping Concierge Service. This new government service will provide a dedicated support service for international maritime businesses thinking of moving to, and growing their business in, the UK. It will link companies to officials across government, representing a step-change in proactive government support for the sector.

The service is the first of its kind in government, set-up to open doors for the global industry to do business in the UK. And through regular contact with these firms, the service will try to identify areas of support currently missing and make recommendations to government to maintain the country’s competitive advantage.

Maritime UK is one of LISW’s biggest sponsors, hosting events on each day of the week, including jobs and careers fairs to promote the sector to the next generation, with an expected 170,000 jobs bonanza over the next five years because of freeports announced earlier this year.

Sarah Kenny, chair of Maritime UK, said: “This new economic analysis shows just how much maritime affects all of our lives. We are an island nation and it’s all around us, keeping us supplied throughout the pandemic, creating jobs from our cities to our shores, and in the years to come, becoming the engine room for our green industrial revolution.

“This week we will see how far we have come, alongside the challenges that still remain, from the co-investment required to steer our ships in a green direction, to reaching our full potential of becoming a modern competitive shipbuilding nation.”

Other events timed to coincide with the start of LISW21 – which will comprise some 160 events held across London financial district the City and beyond – included Royal Navy vessel HMS Albion sailing down The Thames, while WWII warship HQS Wellington has been converted into a careers fair for students, kitted out with virtual reality displays.

In addition, industry leaders will join government ministers in an industry roundtable this week, discussing how to grow from a disrupted economy and decarbonise maritime. And the headline conference will take place on Wednesday, featuring the COP26 High Level Champion, Nigel Topping.