A panel of experts from across the UK’s supply chain have examined how the shipping industry can help solve the logistics crisis during an event sponsored by Peel Ports in Liverpool this week (10 October).
Almost 100 guests from shipping lines, cargo owners and freight forwarders attended the Lloyd’s List Panel event at The Venue, Liverpool which was facilitated by Helen Kelly, Europe Editor-in-Chief for Lloyd’s List.
The oxford-style-debate asked two sides “can the shipping industry save the UK logistics crisis?” with each arguing for and against the motion.
Panel members Geoff Lippitt, Business Development Director for PD Ports and Adam Williams, Commercial Director for MaltaCourt Global Logistics argued that shipping lines could act as a catalyst for changing the logistics sector. However a “chronic lack of skills and development in the maritime sector” needed to be addressed before that was possible, according to Williams.
Former Shop Direct CEO Paul Miller of MSB Supply Chain and Stephen Carr Commercial Director of Peel Ports Group argued in the other direction, calling on comprehensive changes to be made by the logistics sector and UK Government in order to promote change. Miller argued for spending changes to make motorways fit for purpose, and lower fuel costs in the UK, which is currently the third most expensive in Europe.
Stephen Carr of Peel Ports Group, said “As an industry we cannot work in isolation. Collaboration and collective lobbying are the only ways to make a real difference when it comes to helping the UK’s logistics sector advance.”
During the debate Carr also highlighted the fact that direct vessel calls into the North and North West of the UK was crucial to reduce costs, carbon emissions and congestion across the sector.
According to panel members, other key areas in reviving the sector include making it more appealing and relevant to younger people and reacting more quickly to the rise of ecommerce.
Patrick Walters Chief Operating Officer from Peel Ports Group, said: “Engaging the entire supply chain in an open and honest debate like this is crucial if we want to see it evolve. While both sides argued their corners valiantly, it was clear that both the shipping industry and logistics sector need to work together to overcome individual points of weakness, in order to provide a joined up supply chain which works for everyone. We look forward to working with the wider industry in the years ahead to implement this sort of positive change.”
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