Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Ocean Shipping Remains an Essential Part of the Freight and Logistics Supply Chain

One Women's Group Highlights Maritime Role Whilst Another Celebrates its Finest Exponents
Shipping News Feature

UK – The voices of women seeking equality in the freight and logistics supply chain sector are gradually being heard, at least in Britain where good organisation has meant that the glass ceiling, if not exactly broken, is definitely showing a few substantial cracks. The importance of impartiality within the industry is now so well accepted generally that one representative association hardly mentions its original raison d’être these days, as in a recent press release when launching a campaign to make the general public more aware of the importance of shipping to all of our daily lives.

WISTA-UK, part of the Women’s International Shipping & Trading Association, is celebrating its fortieth anniversary this year and last month launched the ‘Came by SHIP’ campaign which aims to draw together all the UK shipping stakeholders with a common focus, to make people, including the media and especially students and youth in general, the key role of the industry. To promote the event there is a dedicated website and to garner interest such things as a global photographic competition (entries close noon on the 6th June 2014) and an 800 word essay competition for 16 to 25 year olds for which entries close on the 30th May.

WISTA believes it is especially important to involve and educate young people as to the ways of the trade, not only to inform them of its mechanics and underline its essential nature (with many of the post war generation simply not understanding the vital role shipping plays in Britain’s economy) but also to reveal all the possibilities and opportunities the sea and the shipping industry offers to everyone, both men and women, wishing to work in the maritime sector.

Maria Dixon, President of WISTA UK was shocked by the ignorance shown regarding logistics by the man (and woman) in the street and believes this essential re-education is the best legacy and contribution the association can offer to its industry commenting:

“In the UK, there is an urgent need for young people and the public in general, to realise that 90% of everything from food to fuel to clothes to gadgets, comes to the UK by ship. We have been on the street asking questions about shipping, and the lack of knowledge is appalling. People think our cargo comes by planes, and most of them do not think that our economy is maritime dependent.”

Next week sees another event of some importance to women working within the freight sector when the FTA everywoman in Transport & Logistics Awards take place on 13th May 2014 at London’s Savoy. Full details of the finalists were published in our article last month and it may just be possible to gain admittance to the event by request for some last minute tickets at events@everywoman.com at an event celebrated by over 250 of the great and the good in this Freight Transport Association sponsored event.

Photo: Many younger people have no idea of the importance of shipping to the UK, both contemporary and historical.