Lloyd's List debate - Adam Williams

Adam Williams

Last week a panel of experts from across the UK’s supply chain examined how the shipping industry could come together to solve the logistics crisis during an event sponsored by Peel Ports in Liverpool.

Almost 100 guests from shipping lines, cargo owners and freight forwarders attended the Lloyd’s List Panel event which asked two sides “can the shipping industry save the UK logistics crisis?” with each arguing for and against the motion.

Arguing the case for the shipping industry to play a major role in making the UK’s logistics sector greener, more efficient and fitter for purpose was Adam Williams, Commercial Director at Maltacourt Global Logistics.

The UK’s logistics sector has changed hugely over the past two decades almost entirely due to the meteoric rise of e-commerce. With more and more people buying goods online rather than on the high street, the framework needed to service customers across the country has needed to evolve in recent years.

While great strides have been made right across the supply chain, there is still a chronic lack of skills and development in the maritime sector which needs to be fixed if we are to solve the broader looming logistics problem.

We need to inspire the next generation to consider the maritime sector as an exciting career choice with endless possibilities. To do so, we must unpack what the maritime sector does to make it more relevant and tangible for young people.

As a global logistics partner to some of the world’s leading brands for the last 35 years, we’ve seen the vital role the maritime industry plays when it comes to importing and exporting goods around the world. For young people, making them understand the complex processes involved in making sure our clients across the UK receive their goods on time with first rate customer service is a good place to start. From an e-commerce point of view - an area with double digit growth year on year - the rise of distribution centres and their importance for supplying such a huge portion of the UK with everything from tablets to shampoo is another way we can engage the next generation of maritime specialists.

If the maritime industry does start to recruit and develop the skills needed to take the industry forward, we will undoubtedly see major changes to the performance of the logistics sector. By up-skilling the maritime sector with increased focus on analytics, sales data and efficiency, the entire supply chain will become leaner, greener and more cost effective for the entire supply chain.

It was a real pleasure to speak with my peers at the recent Lloyds List panel event in Liverpool, and hear different takes on how we can tackle the logistics issue.

From the debate it was clear that there is a real willingness to see the industry thrive and the only logical way to make that happen is to work together rather than in isolation. With major infrastructure projects helping to futureproof the UK’s shipping industry for years to come, we must now engage the next generation of maritime experts to shift UK logistics into the next gear.

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