Bulletin: Supply chain pain

This week has been a momentous week as the first Covid vaccine was administered right here in the UK. After nearly a year of difficulty for everyone, it was great to see a really positive step and we hope that the vaccine role out continues quickly and efficiently. We have also joined with colleagues at Nautilus and the RMT in writing to the Health Secretary asking the UK government to treat seafarers as a priority group for vaccination against Covid-19. Seafarers are key workers and they should be treated as such and the government should make plans to get vaccines to them at the earliest opportunity.

We have seen lots of headlines this week about difficulties at ports around the UK and issues with logistics and moving goods. Along with 8 other trade bodies we wrote to Grant Shapps the Transport Secretary to highlight the global issue with supply chains. I was on Times Radio on Wednesday and Sky News today to talk about the perfect storm of the Covid pandemic, the stockpiling ahead of Brexit and Christmas orders.  We have been clear that there is no global shipping crisis, but there are backlogs in major container ports all around the world. Global supply chains have been disrupted, and across the UK warehousing capacity has been stretched significantly by increased demand and PPE storage. However, the UK is incredibly resilient, as seen throughout the Covid 19 pandemic, and we are confident the resilience within the supply chain can cope with this disruption.

I was pleased to see this week the Merchant Navy Training Board has awarded City of Glasgow College course recognition for their online course to raise awareness about oxygen depletion in enclosed spaces. We all know that any enclosed space has the potential to be dangerous and this course will raise awareness of the dangers and fatal consequences of not taking the right precautions when entering an enclosed space. Congratulations to City of Glasgow College.

Yesterday we held our Supervisory Board meeting and we are delighted to announce that Nick Brown, Lloyd’s Register’s Marine and Offshore Director and the incoming Group CEO from 01 January 2021, has been appointed to the Chamber’s Supervisory Board. Many congratulations to Nick.

We have hosted a huge range of courses over the past few months and next week the team are running a webinar on Single Use Plastics in a Marine Environment.  Building on the launch of our Single-Use Plastics Charter last week, the event will see experts present the work they are doing to reduce plastic consumption, and will dive into the future possibilities and challenges facing the industry as we try to alter our dependency on plastic.

Also next week, on Monday, we will be launching our Bridge Resource Management Guidance at an online event. The Chamber’s Bridge Resource Management Task Force has been meeting for over a year and has developed and published, via Witherbys Seamanship, a new guidance document which introduces new ideas and concepts to BRM. You can purchase your copy of the BRM Guidance here.

Plans for our Virtual Conference continue apace and we are delighted to have announced Northern Marine as our first Gold Sponsor of the ‘People’ Breakout Session. You can read full details of the announcement here and if you haven’t booked your ticket (Member Tickets are Free) you can do that here.