Maritime, Logistics and Energy week begins June 9th with a series of themed events celebrating the sector regionally, nationally and internationally.

The transformation of the UK ports industry in recent decades has created a thriving and highly competitive industry, which is developing world-class facilities using leading edge technology.

A recent report by Oxford Economics on behalf of the UK Chamber of Shipping revealed some startling statistics relating to the economic impact of the UK’s ports. Direct employees number some 120,000 whose work contributes almost £8bn to UK GDP and generates tax receipts of £2bn annually. Almost half of these people work in transport or logistics related roles.

Adding in the multiplier data – for products and services sourced by businesses in the sector from external suppliers – the entire indirect contribution raises the number of jobs supported to some 390,000 and GDP contributions to over £21bn annually.

With one in 80 of the nation’s jobs connected to ports, it is hard to overestimate the importance of the sector to the national economy. Of course, Great Britain’s links to the sea are historic and engrained into our national identity. As a seafaring nation the impact of the maritime sectors goes far beyond the raw economic statistics and helps define who we are.

The containerisation of international trade which took hold in the second half of the 20th century, has helped create an efficient and multi-modal maritime and logistics sector on a global scale. It is estimated that 90 per cent of the world’s non-bulk cargo is transported in containerised form.

This standardised approach has led to the development of new world-class facilities with Britain’s busiest ports of Felixtowe and Southampton handling around five million standard ISO containers annually.

November 2013 saw the opening of the London Gateway Container Port which is now the UK’s largest. The $1.5bn investment by DP World at Thurrock in Essex has created a facility capable of handling 3.5 million containers per year

Liverpool is a city with a proud maritime tradition, and the Port of Liverpool is currently Britain’s seventh largest. Led by owners Peel Ports, a new Liverpool SuperPORT is beginning to emerge. A £1.8bn investment over the next decade will transform the maritime sector in the region and secure 20,000 new jobs.

Against this backdrop there is an exciting programme of more than 30 events led by Mersey Maritime, in partnership with Shipping Innovation, organisers of last year’s inaugural London International Shipping Week, designed to complement major industry conferences taking place in the city. Supporters also include Bibby Line Group, Peel Ports, Hill Dickinson and Brookes Bell.

Maritime, Logistics and Energy week embarks on June 9th and includes a series of themed events which will celebrate the sector in the region, nationally and internationally.

One of the flagship events is the Underwater Defence Technology 2014 conference, the global event for undersea defence and security with specialist from more than 40 countries attending. Also at IFB will be the UK Warehousing Conference and Logistics Impact 2020, an event assessing the future of the sector.

Additionally, there is the annual Automotive Supply Chain Congress, featuring leading experts in the industry, the two-day Maritime and Logistics Conference, UK International Policy Forum, Shipping in Changing Climates conference; and a range of WISTA-UK events.

Jim Teasdale, chief executive of Mersey Maritime Group and chairman of the MLE thematic, said: “We have a comprehensive programme that aims to showcase our sector in all its breadth and rich diversity, and mark the start of new and increased trade opportunities for the UK.”