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.
What might we expect from a Seatrade Parliamentary Debate? Before we took our seats, a guest from mainland Europe suggested: “Perhaps it will be like your UK Parliament, with the two sides facing and shouting at each other?”
Brexit has opened the floodgates for the UK Ship Register (UKSR) – in the wrong direction. At the beginning of the year, the UK-flagged fleet stood at around 16.5m gt. Today, it stands at 10.9m gt.
When Hapag-Lloyd unveiled its ‘Strategy 2023’ towards the end of last year, it was based on the premise that the container shipping market’s rush of consolidation is over.
Prepared or not prepared? That’s quite a question. According to a survey on preparedness for Brexit by Odgers Berndtson, only 16% of about 100 UK ports and harbour authorities have made any ‘significant or practical’ plans for Brexit, but 59% expect a negative or strongly negative impact.
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.”