Felicity Landon

Felicity Landon

Ports Correspondent, Seatrade Maritime

Felicity Landon is a freelance journalist specialising in the ports, shipping, transport and logistics sectors. She has worked in the maritime sector since 1990.

Landon was named Supply Chain Journalist of the Year at the 2012 Seahorse Club Journalism Awards.

Journalists everywhere know that feeling – if someone tells you “this is not a news conference”, it’s probably worth reaching for your notebook or, at the very least, paying attention. The occasion was the International Salvage Union (ISU) marine journalists’ lunch, held in the Merchant Taylors’ Hall in London.

Those arriving for the UK Major Ports Group’s (UKMPG) annual parliamentary reception could be forgiven for drawing some parallels between the long wait they endured, outside in perishing cold, rain and wind, and the dire forecasts of miles of trucks queueing outside ports in the aftermath of Brexit.

Who knew it? Ports are a vital part of the UK economy, Liam Fox told a gathering of some 200 people at a reception in the House of Lords last week. And, he said, ports are not only important economic entities: “They also play a vital role in facilitating imports and exports.”

Only 2% of the UK’s current maritime workforce are women. It’s a situation, said Associated British Ports’ new chief executive, Henrik Pedersen, that simply must change.

Crank up your PC at the start of an exceptionally busy morning and inevitably there will be a ghastly pause, a spinning clock and then the dreaded message: “Updates installed – please restart your computer”.

A total of 17 seafarers were abandoned on Kish Island, Iran, some for more than a year, while given substandard food, limited access to fresh water, and subjected to conditions equivalent to slavery, says the charity Human Rights at Sea (HRAS).

The debate continues at European level on what e-navigation systems should be, and what they should - or should not – deliver.

The European Commission’s Reporting Formalities Directive 2010/65 required all member states to have a national Single Window for electronic reporting in place by 2015. The concept was laudable enough – create one, single system through which masters and officers could submit all required information, only once. Never, goes the theory, will they be asked for the same information twice.

In this faster-track, ever more digital world, surely one of the greatest pleasures is still to bump into old friends and colleagues unexpectedly.

Out on the River Thames, guests of Bennett’s Barges were reminded by their host: beauty is in the eye of the beholder. Chris Livett, managing director of Bennett’s, seventh generation waterman, Queen’s Waterman for 12 years and recently appointed Barge Master to the Queen, wasn’t referring to the Royal barge Gloriana (not present) or even to guests’ view of the iconic Tower Bridge against a blue sky.

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