The demise of London as a shipping hub?


From Splash 24/7 today:


The op-ed is much more macroscopic than just London as a shipping hub.


ask if anyone here gives anymore of a shit than we give about Limassol or Piraeus or Odessa? As mainly Americans here we are isolated and thus insulated from the ways of the global maritime community

…vis we just don’t care


I really enjoyed the article, especially his turns of phrase.

“The second law of thermodynamics, in the specific form of Parkinson’s Law . . .” What a colorful description that also so aptly describes the work flow, or lack thereof, at the NMC.

False ideas marketed to the public by “a small army of spivs and chancers led by the Dirty Digger . . .” Bullshit spewed by an army of well dressed hucksters and chareltons led by Rupert Murdock, just the same as here.

“shed a warm glow over inactivity . . .”


How is it that the Brits are able to expand the tonnage flying the Red Duster as a high quality flag of convenience?


By making it attractive for global operators to flag in.

Shipping is a global business with global players.

They have operations in most countries and continents.

By Flagging in they see several benefits:

Tonnage tax, used to offset corporation tax on their flag state shoreside operation
Access to the MCA and their advice
Transparency under a respected flag
Better insurance rates
Reduced P & I calls


Insulation may be a contributing factor in the demise of US shipping under US flag.

US owned and operated vessels are a major factor in world shipping still. If you add in the various FOC registers administered from USA, it is actually a very strong force in world shipping.

Those thousands of Americans who are engaged in the operational, management, administrative and not least financial side of shipping certainly DO “give a sh*t” about what is happening in the global maritime community they are a major part of.


Last I heard, Americans were one of the top five shipowning nationalities. It’s just that they mostly earn foreign flag vessels. US Secretary of Commerce Wilber Ross owns, or use to own, foreign flag container lines. I hear that the family of US Secretary of Transportation Elaine Chao (wife of Sen. Mitch McConnel) also owns foreign flag ships.

What would it take to attract foreign flag ships, particularly American owned foreign flag ships, to the US flag?


Hazard a guess:

Look at existing International Registries based in the USA - be humble, learn & copy
Full Adoption of STCW -the regs and CFRs are impenetrable
Make the USCG user friendly
See shipping as a core part of the economy
Have a tonnage tax
Less legislation
Cut down on career administrators who contribute nothing
Sort out the longshoremen by having private terminals
Alternate - make the longshore men shareholders in the terminals

(PM Margaret Thatcher did that with the dockers in the UK - very unionized and powerful. She made them take on terminals as a co-operative where each member was a shareholder. Ports that took three weeks to unload a reefer when I was Third Mate were turning the ships around in 48 hours when I was Master with less than half the men and the same cranes) And yes, the ships we twice the size!


Another option would be pay them by the job instead of by the hour.

There is a tonnage tax. That’s partly why short sea shipping doesn’t work.


The primary reason short sea shipping cannot work is the high longshore costs and delays. Tug and barge would easily out compete trucks for containers, building materials, oversized (for the road) and similar freight if it were not for the longshore costs and delays. Look at most of Alaska where the boat crew does it all much faster than longshoremen ever would.


Apparently they have a plan for rectifying the problem… sell ships to the US Navy:


I would like to see the Navy buy five of the Brit destroyers instead of one US built destroyer for the same money. We need to build more simpler lower cost ships. As we usage seen, it’s too easy for these nearly $2 billion ships to be knocked out of commission.


But only if the Norwegians design them and provide all the major equipment…


I can see why they appointed you Ambassador to Norway. You’re doing a hell of a job.


Self-appointed me think. As far as I know President Trump hasn’t got around to appoint any Ambassador to Norway yet??


Doing a better job then the last one

We don’t even have a US ambassador at the moment. But I’m sure Trump has more important things to think about.


There is no one more qualified and pro-Norway than me. I feel that my appointment ceremony in the Rose Garden is imminent.


Don’t forget to make a thread when you are appointed, I want to attend the ceremony in Oslo.


I found your comment on Margaret Thatcher and her dealings with Unions, which was a lot more than the docker’s, the miner’s being ‘No 1’, most interesting. My sea days, '57 ~ '67, would have been vastly different to yours and of one of the many particular ‘incidents’ that stays in my mind was a stevedore on Pier 1 Brooklyn, now parkland, telling me “Sorry Mr Mate, can’t do. I won’t but if I did one of my men, no one in particular, just one man as ‘an example’ would be dead by morning”. No doubt as to who ran the American unions in those days, Mafioso.