Freight News, Sea

Shipping people: stand up and be counted

[ June 24, 2014   //   ]

It is time to stand up and shout about the enormous benefits that the shipping industry brings to the UK and to international trade, panelists told a debate at the International Festival for Business on Merseyside.

Speakers at the at a forum organised by Women’s International Shipping & Trading Association (WISTA) said that executives and supporters of the industry must inject more passion into their arguments for clearer recognition of the benefits of ocean transport, for fairer reporting of casualties and other maritime issues, for improved welfare for seafarers, and for a more intense drive to recruit new talent – it is forecast that by 2020 the UK will be 5,000 seafarers short.

The Liverpool session on June 16 2014 was a follow-up to the WISTA-UK Grand Annual Debate in London the previous month, which voted clearly in favour of a motion lamenting that the shipping industry was “invisible.” WISTA-UK is a leading national entity of the Women’s International Shipping & Trading Association.

An expert panel at the Liverpool event was asked to determine the best way to ensure that the industry “becomes more visible.”

Director of Sea Vision UK, Ewen Macdonald, said: ““Our industry used to be ‘people rich’. You would see people coming out of dockyards, from ships and from manufacturing and they went back into the community and spread the word. We do not have that now. ‘The docks’ tends to be upper class and yuppie. We, the sector, are our own worst enemies. We have a great story to tell, it is about time we got our backside into gear and told it.”