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09.09.2013

Shipping Minister Kicks Off London International Shipping Week

Photo of port controller Dudley Curtis and Shipping Minister Stephen Hammond
PLA Duty Port Controller, Dudley Curtis, explaining the Port Control Displays to the Shipping Minister, Stephen Hammond
UK Shipping Minister, Stephen Hammond MP, has kicked off London International Shipping Week (LISW) today (9 September) with a visit to the Port of London Authority (PLA) London Port Control Centre to see port facilities on the Thames.

The UK’s biggest and most modern Port Control Centre, the PLA base oversees the safe movement of 230,000 commercial and leisure vessels on the Thames every year.  The commercial vessels provide trade links to over 80 countries around the world, from Chile to Mauritius, Honduras to Fiji.

Speaking on the river, Stephen Hammond said:

“London International Shipping Week is a testament to the UK’s strength in marine commerce and services. Trade on the river Thames was the crucible in which London’s marine related services industry was forged. Today that industry supports business around the world and contributes up to £14 billion a year to the UK economy.”

PLA chief executive, Richard Everitt, added: “The river has been an intrinsic part of life in the city and nation for thousands of years. Its importance is undiminished. Today it remains a way for people to work, travel, a place to play and an essential hub for global trading. Perhaps most importantly, the port is the route by which people across London and the South East are supplied the fuel, food and clothing, providing jobs and economic activity.”

Photograph of two ships, one is PLA survey vessel VERIFIER
Stephen Hammond’s Thames river trip was on-board PLA hydrographic survey vessel, VERIFIER
London is home to the second biggest port in the UK, busiest inland waterway for freight, passengers and a centre for sporting events. Activities on the river prompted London to develop its place today as a leading worldwide centre for marine insurance, ship finance, legal services and shipbroking.

The UK Government has put its support firmly behind the inaugural London International Shipping Week (LISW) by confirming two of its Ministers as main speakers at the LISW Conference to be held at the Willis Building on Thursday September 12th.
 
Lord Green of Hurstpierpoint, Minister for Trade and Investment will address delegates on the key issue of London’s role in propelling world trade while Stephen Hammond will give a keynote address emphasising London’s position at the centre of world trade, shipping and maritime services.