UK remains the undisputed leader in maritime professional services reveals research

Research reveals that the UK remains the undisputed leader as far as maritime professional services are concerned
Research reveals that the UK remains the undisputed leader as far as maritime professional services are concerned

The UK’s Global Maritime Professional Services: Contribution and Trends report, produced by PricewaterhouseCoopers looks at the contribution and trends of the UK’s maritime professional services sector and provides a wealth of new data and insights drawn from survey responses and interviews with maritime industry specialists.

This sector includes areas such as marine insurance, law, finance and shipbroking, which play a vital role in facilitating the functioning of the global maritime industry.

The report, commissioned by the City of London Corporation and produced by PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP (PwC), finds that this sector has an important role both domestically and internationally. Domestically, the sector contributes approximately £4.4 billion to the UK economy annually and directly employs over 10,000 people. Globally, the UK remains the undisputed leader in maritime professional services such as marine insurance, maritime law, education and shipbroking. Despite the shift of physical shipping activity towards Asia, the UK’s continuing strength reflects the depth and breadth of expertise in maritime professional services and education.

“Maritime London is delighted to be associated with this report that has been commissioned by the City of London. Again, it demonstrates the impact of maritime services to the UK’s economy and to the City. We would like to thank the many companies that have contributed data to enable the authors to produce such an informed report. This long awaited report now provides us with evidence in support of our promotional efforts clearly demonstrating the importance of our maritime services. This report states where we are today and gives some pointers for the future. Our job now is to support the growth of the UK’s maritime services and ensure they have an increasing share of global business.”
Doug Barrow, Chief Executive, Maritime London.

Key report findings
• The UK is headquarters for many of the world’s leading maritime law and shipbroking firms. Many of these companies have expanded with new offices across the globe, while the UK is the destination of choice for complex risk insurance, backed up by the expertise of Lloyd’s of London and the International Underwriting Association.
• The cluster effect whereby the above services have a multiplying effect, helping bring in business for each other and attract talent. Customers highly value being able to access all these services in one place.
• The depth and scale of the UK’s talent pool remains unrivalled in comparison to other leading maritime centres such as Hong Kong, Singapore and Shanghai.
• The UK’s stable business environment, Rule of Law, geography, time zone and the attractiveness of London as a place to work and live were all cited as benefits.
However, the sector faces a number of threats to its preeminent position including:
• For many years, the UK has not been considered a major area of shipping activity due to its lack of established major hub port and limited local ownership and shipping activity when compared to the likes of Rotterdam, Hamburg or Shanghai. However, this disadvantage is not new.
• Corporation tax set at a higher rate in comparison to other hubs, problems attaining visas and ‘gold-plated’ regulation were all cited.
• The relative cost of doing business in London. The capital is the 4th most expensive city to rent high-rise offices, while average salaries (£870 per week) are far higher than those in the likes of Shanghai (£200) and Singapore (£450). It is therefore most feasible for high added value businesses to be located here.
• Other maritime hubs are competing hard. Singapore has introduced tax incentives for ship operators and services, offered incentives for specific institutions to relocate and is now the second largest maritime services hub after London. Shanghai also has a greater focus on operations in the hope that services will follow, while Hong Kong has created a new promotional body to recommend ways to help grow the sector.

Download and read the report in full: The-uk’s-global-maritime-professional-services

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