UK politicians and the general public have demonstrated overwhelmingly that they recognize shipping as the biggest mover of the nation’s imports and exports, according to a new study commissioned by the UK Chamber of Shipping.
Guy Platten, CEO of the UK Chamber of Shipping, said of the study: “The findings confirm that we can forget about so-called ‘seablindness’ – it just does not exist. It is clear that the public and our politicians have a deep-rooted sense of shipping’s importance to our trading economy."
He added: “It is for us – not just at the UK Chamber but the whole industry – to turn that good will into tangible change that will make the UK a more competitive place to do maritime business before and after the UK leaves the European Union
Leading pollster Comres surveyed 2,026 members of the British public and 127 UK MPs during the first four months of this year. Respondents were asked to name the mode of transport that carries the largest proportion of import and export cargo to/from the UK.
The UK’s major ports handled 473.5 million tonnes of freight during the year 2016, according to most recent statistics from the Department for Transport (DfT). Some 95 percent of the UK’s international trade is moved by sea.
David Dingle CBE, chairman of Maritime UK, added, “This opinion poll shows without doubt that shipping is in the minds of the public and our politicians. The public trusts us with everything from their food
to their clothing to their holidays. Our challenge is to ensure that when they think of UK industry, they think of maritime business as much as they do financial services or car manufacturing.
“The more they understand the UK’s reliance on shipping, the more opportunity we will have to work with government to deliver a world-class business environment, encourage more investment and more jobs for the country as a whole,” David added.