London maritime business are hiring again, according to global shipping industry recruiter Faststream. The Southampton headquartered company reports that it has seen a 20% rise since the start of the year in vacancies for commercial positions across a range of business types including shipowners, insurers and consultancies.
“We sense that our clients are feeling much more positive about the future and are especially hiring people in business development and commercial roles. This is also having a spill-over affect in other areas with a rise in the need for people to fill business support functions,” said Faststream Group CEO Mark Charman. “Freight rates may still be low and business tough for many, but the volume of maritime related hires in the U.K. is much higher than it has been at any point over the past four years which is good news for us all.”
Whilst Faststream research shows that base salaries have remained static, bonus packages have increased. Typical bonuses for commercial roles within shipping companies now typically stand at 30-40% of salaries.
London is seen as an attractive location for non-U.K. shipping companies to set up a European base, especially Asian shipowners looking to develop their European presence. Faststream has worked with a range of overseas shipowning clients in recent months helping them to fill positions in the U.K. The depth of experience of the U.K. workforce in the maritime sector is huge and the city is well connected globally. The news that the mooted P3 alliance between container line operators Maersk, MSC and CMA CGM will have its headquarters in London, further cements the city’s status as the global maritime capital. Faststream has also seen a growth in the number of start-up companies providing niche shipping related solutions and equipment using London as a base from which to develop business.
London is seen as a very attractive location for British and foreign nationals alike to work.
“Europeans and Asians particularly like the idea of living and working in London, but are not always aware of the high cost of living here,” noted Mark Charman. “Companies are increasingly providing help with relocation costs to London. Companies whose packages are not in line with the rise in the cost of living will find it harder to attract candidates.”
However, despite the rise in vacancies in London, Faststream notes that Singapore is seen as the place which is perceived by many candidates to offer the most opportunities. “The increasing movement eastwards of shipping has opened up numerous opportunities, especially in the bulk markets. Employers in London know that they are competing with businesses in Europe and Asia for top talent.”