Knowledge & Insight

The UK Maritime & Shipping Industry - an ongoing success story

Mon 4 August 2014

As an island nation, the UK has long relied on its maritime and shipping industry to create wealth and support the wider economy, and whilst Britannia may no longer rule the waves, her shipping sector still plays a vital role in driving growth. That’s certainly the message delivered loud and clear in a recent study commissioned by Maritime UK. The paper reveals that in 2011, Maritime and Shipping contributed almost £14 billion to UK GDP, employing 262,700 people and generating almost £3 billion in tax revenues. When the indirect impact further down the supply chain is taken into account, these figures rocket to almost £34 billion in GDP and over 630,000 jobs.

Maritime and Shipping around the UK

Scotland forms the epicentre of the UK maritime industry, accounting for a quarter of all personnel employed by the sector. The South East region is the second-placed region in terms of employment, whilst London – as the centre for maritime business services - leads the way in terms of revenue generation. Other UK regions that rely on the sector for significant employment and revenue include Northern Ireland and the North East. Even inland areas such as West Midlands benefit from the success of the sector, as sizeable supply chain operations take place across the UK.

The Ports Industry

The strength of the UK ports industry is a reliable indicator of the health of the rest of the UK economy, and in today’s increasingly globalised environment, it is also a critical component of ongoing economic growth. So it’s good to know that the sector is robust and growing. In 2011 the ports sector employed 117,000 staff and made a contribution of almost £8 billion to UK GDP. This activity generated £2 billion in tax revenues, a figure which rises to over £6 billion when associated economic activity is taken into account.

The Shipping Industry

Despite global economic instability, the UK shipping sector has enjoyed a period of rapid expansion over the past 10 – 12 years. Employing more than 145,000 workers, the sector contributed over £5.5 billion to UK GDP in 2011 –almost half of one percent of total economic activity. When indirect and induced activity are added to the equation, total economic impact rises to £12.5 billion, adding £2.8 billion to Exchequer revenues.

These figures paint a very clear picture of how important the maritime and shipping industry is to the UK, both in terms of employment and revenue, and the ongoing expansion of the sector during challenging times is testament to the talent that resides within UK-based companies. In this hugely competitive sector, companies require leaders with the foresight to anticipate changes in the business environment, and the confidence to take bold decisions that enable their firms to keep pace with technological change and shape the evolution of the industry.

Maritime & shipping executive search

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