The UK sits at the heart of the international shipping industry and its professional expertise in ship chartering, insurance, legal, financial services and consultancy is called upon by shipowners and charterers worldwide. London is home to a number of the maritime sector’s international bodies including: International Chamber of Shipping (ICS), International Association of Classification Societies (IACS),The International Group of P&I and The Baltic Exchange. London is also privileged to host the International Maritime Organization (IMO).

Key strengths of UK maritime services sector

  • Expertise – Shipping is a niche and highly technical sector which requires specialist knowledge to succeed. The pool of expertise available in the UK is second to none. Whether former seafarers or financial, broking or insurance experts, the UK-based workforce has a huge range of shipping industry specific skills available.
  • Quality – UK based firms are renowned for the quality of their work. The framework provided by key institutions such as the Baltic Exchange, Lloyd’s of London, the Admiralty and Commercial courts and Financial Services Authority delivers a high degree of security and confidence.
  • Variety – The breadth and depth of UK maritime service providers means that any requirement however large or small can be handled. The interaction between the various professions is a key advantage, enabling quick and expert solutions to shipping related problems.
  • Experience – UK-based firms have been providing maritime related services for over 300 years and continue to be at the cutting edge of new developments

Key Statistics

  • In 2019, LMAA arbitrators received a total of 2,952 arbitration appointments, for comparison in 2018 the number of appointments was 2,599.  There was an increase of almost 15% in LMAA Terms appointments (up from 2,369 in 2018 to 2,697 in 2019). There was also an increase in Small Claims Procedure appointments (up from 207 in 2018 to 218 in 2019. This has resulted in an overall increase in new cases of well over 10%, from 1,561 new references in 2018 to 1,756 new references in 2019. (source: London Maritime Arbitrators Association)
  • 30-40% of dry bulk and 50% of tanker fixtures are transacted by UK-based shipbroking firms (source: The Baltic Exchange)
  • London has a 30% share of the global insurance market, ahead of the USA, Japan, Germany and France.
  • 90% of P&I cover for the global fleet is handled by 13 major international P&I clubs all of which maintain offices in the UK.
  • 80% of maritime related cases heard in UK courts involve one or both parties based outside the UK.

Maritime London reports:

London is home to the London International Shipping Week (LISW), a biennial gathering of the global shipping industry heralding the UK’s position as the world’s leading maritime services centre. The next LISW will be held from 11-15 September, 2023.