London retains lead position in maritime services

The Baltic Exchange, in collaboration with Xinhua, the Chinese state news agency, has published the 2020 Xinhua-Baltic International Shipping Centre Development (ISCD) Index. The index, in its seventh edition, provides an independent ranking of the performance of the world’s largest cities that offer port and shipping business services.

The report highlights that London – “a sophisticated shipping service industry cluster” – retains its leading role in maritime services, having climbed up to the second place overall.

“As the oldest international shipping centre, through over a century of development, London has formed a comprehensive modern high-end shipping service industry cluster covering shipping brokerage, maritime insurance, shipping finance, maritime law, maritime consulting and others”, the report says. “From the perspective of market share, London has secured a leading position globally in maritime litigation and arbitration, shipping finance, shipping insurance, shipping brokerage and other service sectors. Taking maritime arbitration as an example, the London Maritime Arbitrators Association handled 2,952 cases in 2019, accounting for over 70% of the world’s cases.”

Baltic Exchange Chief Executive Mark Jackson, also Maritime London Director, said: “Whilst this report reflects a pre-COVID 19 world, those locations which continue to build on their strengths, are able to communicate a clear vision for the future and diversify beyond the physical port hub will be the ones who are able to succeed in the future. We call on all the main shipping hubs to continue investing in education, R&D and new services; remain open to global talent and offer an attractive international business environment.”

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