Our Industry

The UK is a Maritime nation and most of its external trade is carried by ship. Marine activities make a very significant contribution to the UK’s prosperity and quality of life. The Maritime Industry includes Shipyards, Equipment Manufacturers and Suppliers in the Naval, Commercial, Leisure and Marine Renewable sectors. The Crown Estate estimates that the wider marine-related economy generates around £46bn of the UK’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) and provides 890,000 jobs.

The wider UK marine economy represents approximately 3% of the estimated global marine related market of £2 trillion.

Segments of the Marine Industry

The UK Marine Industries comprise of a variety of interdependent market segments providing products and services to global markets. All of the markets for the UK marine industries demand a wide range of key technologies, suitably qualified human capital and an understanding of the role of marine activities. These markets need to be supported by research and linked to other industries to underpin innovation and future competitiveness.

The commercial sector is made up of Merchant Shipbuilding, Maintenance, Repair and Conversion, Marine Equipment, Systems and Services, Ship Recycling, Design, Development and Research.
The naval sector has been moulded by the implementation of the 2005 Defence Industrial Strategy, is made up of a small number of large companies supported by a strategic supply chain including many Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs).

Marine Renewable Energy is an emerging sector turning Wind, Wave and Tidal energy at sea into electricity. Although small today, there are big opportunities over the next two decades and beyond, as countries look to exploit their offshore renewable resources to help tackle climate change and support future energy security.

Each of the marine segments are of significant importance to maintaining and improving the global market share of the UK marine industry.

• UK ports handle in excess of 560 million tonnes (Mt) of freight traffic per year with inward traffic of approx. 345 Mt and outward traffic of approx. 215 Mt.
• International sea passenger journeys are approx. 24.2 million passengers, with accompanying passenger car traffic at approx. 6.5 million vehicles
• The number of ship arrivals into UK ports currently stands at around 131,000 dockings.
• London is a world leading centre in the provision of maritime services
• The UK shipping industry is a crucial part of the UK’s transport infrastructure which delivers benefits to the economy through enhancing competition and raising productivity.

Marine Industry Research

The UK has a strong academic and research culture, good links in European and developing countries, a technically advanced navy, a substantial offshore oil and gas and support industry and world leading information technology.

Environmental Benefits of Shipping

Statistics for CO2 emissions by different forms of freight transport have shown that shipping in general has the smallest footprint compared to the air and road freight.
Today, UK Maritime industry knowledge-based activities are as important as manufacturing e.g. 30-40% of the through life cost of a new naval platform is determined in Concept, Assessment, Design, Integration and Information Management.

SSA membership spans the whole lifecycle of products – from Research, Concept, Product Development, including Exportability, detailed Design, Manufacture, world-wide in-Service Support, and Disposal.

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