At the start of London International Shipping Week (LISW) the UK Chamber of Shipping has launched a new report that, for the first time, provides a comprehensive overview of the value of the shipping industry to the UK.

The report highlights the central role shipping plays in the prosperity of the UK with 61,000 jobs directly in the shipping sector and a further 585,000 jobs in the wider supply chain and economy. These jobs are not just in traditional maritime areas, but include landlocked parts of the UK such as the West Midlands with over 10,000 jobs and £86m of economic benefit linked to shipping.

As the sector decarbonises and makes greater use of technology the report showcases some of the new roles that will become increasingly required. These include land based control centre staff operating ships remotely and highly skilled engineers who will be needed to maintain new generation engines powered by low and zero carbon fuels.

Commenting on the report UK Chamber of Shipping Chief Executive Sarah Treseder said:
“This report aims to shine a light on what is sometimes a forgotten but vitally important sector.
“The analysis demonstrates shipping’s contribution to every aspect of our daily lives. Be it supporting the export of famous UK products such as the Mini, the import of crucial medicines like insulin or helping millions of people go on holiday the importance of shipping to our economic prosperity and social wellbeing cannot be overstated.”

Commenting on the launch of the UK Chamber’s report Maritime Minister Baroness Vere said:
“This report from the UK Chamber of Shipping underscores the critical role shipping plays in enabling our modern economy, creating jobs and offering a convenient and cost-effective means of transporting goods.
“As the shipping sector takes proactive steps to decarbonise by embracing technological advancements, it opens up a new frontier of possibilities. This transformation will demand new skills and expertise, creating a golden opportunity for more people to venture into this evolving industry.”

The report also highlights the central role shipping plays in the UK’s offshore energy sector. Offshore wind is due to expand significantly in the coming years, with 100,000 jobs supported by 2030 while oil and gas remains an important part of the UK’s energy security.

Sarah Treseder continued:
“Shipping will be crucial as the offshore wind sector expands. We expect to see a 250% increase in the number of vessels helping to service wind farms as part of their installation and operation.
“This expansion presents a chance for significant regeneration across the UK, but in particular the east coast of Scotland, as part of the transition to a net zero economy.”

Regional jobs breakdown
Region or Nation Jobs in or supported by shipping in that region Value to economy
South East England 195,902 £2.14bn
London 150,092 £1.96bn
Scotland 85,228 £896m
North West 61,648 £537m
Northern Ireland 29,206 £279m
East of England & East Midlands 28,271 £289m
South West 21,469 £183m
Yorkshire & North East 15,518 £138m
West Midlands 10,175 £86m

Source: UK Chamber of Shipping