In view of the COVID-19 global pandemic, UK Chamber of Shipping CEO Bob Sanguinetti released a statement on Froday (March 20, 2020). It reads:
What an unprecedented week in British peace time history. I want to start my message by paying tribute to our NHS, emergency services and others who are working so hard to keep us safe and well during this difficult time. And to all the seafarers who are away from loved ones, moving the goods which we will all need, facing incredible challenges head on, you have my thanks and the full support of the UK Chamber of Shipping.
The country and our industry are facing an uncertain future, but for the UK shipping sector that is why we are here. Our mission is to champion and protect our industry and that is exactly what we have been doing and will continue to do over the weeks and months ahead. We have a dedicated page on our website which is regularly updated with official advice from the government, WHO, ICS and other official sources. It also has a very informative video.
On Tuesday afternoon I had a very productive call with the Shipping Minister and yesterday we spoke to her again along with the Transport Secretary Grant Shapps. We have pressed them on the things our members want. We must get a multi-million pound support package and now.
Ships will be needed to bring in the goods, food, drugs and medicines we all need, and we have demanded immediate action from the government. We got our message out there in an opinion piece I wrote for the Times and we have been lobbying MPs hard all week. We’ve had great feedback from members this week but if there is anything we can do, anything else which is needed, do not hesitate to contact me.
In light of the overriding importance of the current situation, the Chamber’s policy team has been restructured to ensure it provides the very best support and advice to members over and above all other issues. We have expertise across the organisation, from experts who can support in everything from legal, tax and employment laws, to a communications team who have worked at the highest levels of government and can advise on engaging with ministers. If you need help or support please reach out.
None of us know how long this will go on for but you have my guarantee that the Chamber will continue to push Ministers and the government at every level to ensure the industry gets what it needs.
Sea News Feature, March 24