Thursday, September 3, 2015

London International Shipping Week Promises a Memorable Set of Events and Opportunities

Five Days When the Capital Focuses on One of its Most Important Industries
Shipping News Feature

UK – With London International Shipping Week (LISW) due to commence on the 7th September a plethora of events are being planned to ensure it will be 5 days that will be remembered for some time to come. The UK is the leading centre worldwide for the supply of a broad range of professional and business services to the international maritime community, accounting for 21% of premiums in international marine insurance, over $64bn in committed ship finance (or 15% of the world loan book) and it has the largest concentration of legal service firms specialising in the sector. London is also the predominant supplier of shipbroking services worldwide and is the major player when it comes to maritime dispute resolution.

At the heart of maritime London of course lies the River Thames and the Port of London Authority (PLA) has associated itself closely with many of the events which will mark out the week. Overall, Thames-based port terminals handle 45 million tonnes of goods every year, providing the country with vital supplies and employing tens of thousands across London, Thurrock, Essex, Kent and beyond. The ports operate in a sensitive marine environment, much of which is protected for the importance of its wildlife and habitats. The PLA is the custodian for this vital natural asset and is developing a Thames Vision, a long term plan for the future of the river in all its aspects, details of which it will reveal at the commencement of LISW.

In a first for the PLA , and as part of the Thames Vision, it will reveal the findings of research by SQW and Oxford Economics: ‘The River Thames’ Economic Prosperity’ and ‘Adding Value: The River Thames’ Public Amenity’. Meanwhile EMS Seven Seas, acquired last year by the Supreme Group, will reveal details of the company’s rebranding and proposals for its development, plus a strategic plan to propel it into prime position in the global ship supply sector.

Pole Star, provider of fleet management, ship security, and fisheries monitoring systems, is to feature in a news-style programme examining the role and value of the maritime industry to the UK. ‘A Maritime Nation’, which is being produced by the UK Chamber of Shipping in partnership with ITN Productions. This is an in-depth, online programme that will investigate the global issues facing the industry, the UK’s heritage and standing, and the innovations and technology shaping the future of shipping. It will feature news-style reports alongside sponsored editorial profiles.

The programme will be launched shortly before the bi-ennial LISW gets under way, at an exclusive event to be held at the UK Chamber of Shipping on 3 September. The programme is set to be an exciting venture for the UK Chamber of Shipping, the companies that feature in the film (such as Pole Star), and the industry as a whole. It aims to bring the industry to an even wider audience in a modern way and spark new dialogue that could shape the future of the industry. Commenting on the upcoming launch of the programme Julian Longson, Managing Director at Pole Star said:

“We are truly honoured to be featuring in ‘A Maritime Nation’ and flying the export flag for the UK. We hope viewers find interesting the showcasing of our specific capability in the provision of ship-centric sanctions compliance and risk management services to the financial services sector, which of course is another hugely important sector to UK PLC”.

On Tuesday September 8 the Isle of Man Maritime Group, one of the official sponsors of LISW, will host an evening networking reception at no lesser venue than Trinity House. During the reception, guests will be invited to network with the Group, and explore their rich maritime history, learning about the strength and breadth of the world class maritime international services provided by Isle of Man based organisations.

Manx actors and musicians will bring to life the legacy of the Vikings; introduce the ringleaders of the Mutiny on the Bounty; remember the courage of Captain John Quilliam who was First Lieutenant on HMS Victory and set the scene for the inspiration of Sir William Hilary, who founded the RNLI.

The music and drama will be showcased in the historic surroundings of Trinity House, the remarkable 18th Century headquarters of the Corporation of Trinity House, which has maintained British lighthouses since the 16th Century. Guests will be met by Isle of Man’s own sea cadets and guided up the grand, sweeping staircase to a reception on the first floor. All the rooms will be open to guests including the Pepys Room, the library and the reading room.Isle of Man Maritime Group Chairman, Bruce McGregor said:

“LISW is the ideal opportunity for us to promote the wealth of maritime services and experience delivered on the Isle of Man. This event will celebrate our rich seafaring tradition and how we have evolved into a modern, technically astute global centre of excellence.”

Guests at the reception will be able to meet representatives from the Isle of Man Maritime Group including the IOM Ship Registry; IOM Shipping Association; IOM Superyacht Forum KPMG; Bernhard Schulte Shipmanagement (Isle of Man); Döhle (IOM) Group of Companies; PDMS Maritime; Simcocks Advocates; MHG Insurance Brokers; Affinity Management Services and InterManager.

With unique live performances and music, the reception is aimed at attracting a large international audience of senior management decision makers, across a broad range of international shipping organisations. Applications to attend can be made here.

Women in command, a maritime incident, the perfect dilemma, and the marvels of Old Father Thames are just a few of the interesting topics that WISTA-UK will be exploring at the organisation’s UK event during  LISW. Following on from the success of their grand debate at LISW in 2013 WISTA-UK, in conjunction with UKTI, will again be holding an exciting programme of free activities on the first day of LISW. Open to the public, this series of seminars, workshops and events aim to educate and challenge, as well as encourage people to meet new faces, learn from industry professionals and make the most of networking opportunities.

With people registering from as far away as India and from a variety of countries including Malta, Greece, the Netherlands and Estonia, WISTA-UK and UKTI’s events are shaping up to be a truly international experience that will provide an ideal opportunity for attendees to participate in significant maritime debates. Parveen Thornhill, UKTI Regional Director for London commented:

“UKTI is pleased to be working with WISTA-UK at the LISW. It is great to be working with such a well-established trading association that has been creating opportunities for women in the last 38 years. The programme of events organised looks to be particularly interesting with talks on a range of subjects including the River Thames. This day will create key networking opportunities for those in the shipping industry.

“The UK as a whole has a strong position in the shipping sector, with 1.5% of the world fleet’s capacity owned by UK-based companies and 3.2% managed by UK-based companies. It is great to be part of an event bringing together shipping experts from around the world enabling even more growth in this sector for British businesses. The LISW is a very important event for the shipping industry as is shown by its popularity and we are glad to support it.”

The first course of the programme will include a seminar on ‘Women in Command’. Being in command is a challenging job so WISTA UK is taking this opportunity to examine the woman’s role in the industry. It is estimated that only 4% of seagoing staff are female, which is a potential resource being wasted. How can the industry recruit and retain seafarers to respond to the worldwide shortage of qualified crews? A challenging and new perspective will be presented.

The second session, ‘The Perfect Dilemma – an Interactive Workshop’, lead by Capt Nigel Moniz and Capt Pushkar Gadam of DGS Marine will focus on the complexities of maritime casualties. It will examine the varied and high value risks that vessel owning businesses can be exposed to, as well as the multiple interested parties involved in smoothly concluding a voyage. The session will advise interested parties how to react to these incidents, ambiguity surrounding the question of liability and how to adhere to local and international regulations. Mike Godfrey, Head of PR at Image Line Communications will also make a presentation on crisis media relations.

The third session will include a presentation titled, ‘Old Father Thames – there’s life in the old man yet’, led by historical geographer Dr David Hilling MBE and Commander David Phillips MNI MVO, Chief Harbour Master, Port of London Authority. The presentation will cover how the River Thames has shaped English history, the changing use of Thames-side facilities and what’s going on with the Thames today.

To culminate WISTA-UK’s schedule of events for the first day of LISW 2015 there will be a grand networking evening event with a silent auction for WISTA-UK charities, Seavision and OSCAR. Sponsoring WISTA this year are DGS Marine Group, UKTI London, Image Line Communications, The Nautical Institute, Holman Fenwick Willan, Blue Seas Adjusters Ltd and supporters Class NK, Spinnaker Global and Lloyd’s List. Thanking them Sue Terpilowski OBE, President of WISTA-UK went on:

“LISW is one of the most prestigious and eagerly anticipated shipping events in the maritime world and WISTA-UK is delighted to once again be a part of the celebration of UK shipping. London has always been one of the centres of the maritime world and the return of LISW will once again give us the opportunity to show not only how important women are in shipping, but also why the UK remains at the forefront of maritime technology.”

Free tickets for any of the WISTA events can be obtained through this link.

Photo: The women of WISTA!