Maritime UK poll: UK economy 'competitive & strong'

New shipping survey reveals confidence in the UK's competitiveness.
DP World London Gateway.
DP World London Gateway.


A survey published by Maritime UK has revealed that 175 senior figures in the UK shipping, ports and maritime business services sectors have given an overwhelming vote of confidence in the UK’s competitiveness.

The survey targeted 175 heads and most senior leaders of organisations that have maritime operations based in the UK, including shipowners, port operators, maritime lawyers, insurers and shipbrokers.

The results, published on the opening day of London International Shipping Week, show that:

  • 85% agreed that the UK is a globally competitive place to do business
  • 74% said the sector will grow during the next five years
  • 70% said that the UK economy was moving in the right direction.

Respondents shared their views on why the UK has remained one of the world’s premier maritime hubs. The most common reasons stated were:

  • the breadth of established and reputable maritime services available in London (legal, financial, business) – making it a ‘one stop shop’ for shipping
  • its profound experience in legal insurance and financial services for the maritime industry
  • UK's time zone – which makes it possible to do business in both Eastern and Western markets each day.
  • a long maritime history – in which expertise has been passed down through generations – something emerging economies could not replicate.

The first ever London International Shipping Week kicks off today (Monday, September 9) with leaders from all sectors of the international shipping industry heading to London for a series of events celebrating the city’s success as one of the world’s premier maritime hubs.

Jim Stewart, chairman of Maritime UK, said: “At the beginning of London International Shipping Week, industry leaders have given a ringing endorsement for the UK as a centre for maritime business. It is a sign that, despite a difficult economic environment, the industry is determined to carry on being the backbone of the British economy.

“The massive contribution this industry makes to the UK economy should never be taken for granted. The threat from emerging economies is real and significant. Industry and Government must focus their energies on ensuring that the UK remains one of the most competitive places in the world for international business – and that requires mature, cross-party consensus to build a stable, attractive environment.”

Shipping and other maritime services are big business in the UK – it is a sector already worth up to £14 billion per year to the economy and most importantly, it is a sector that is steadily growing. Maritime services – comprising ports, shipping and business services – provide 263,000 jobs.

Gross tonnage has more than trebled on the UK shipping register over the past decade and London remains the largest maritime centre in the world for professional, business and financial services.

Full details of the survey can be found here.


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