New Naval History PhD Opportunity – Patronage and the Royal Navy 1771 – 1815

If you have a good academic background in any relevant aspect of British eighteenth or nineteenth century history and have an interest in social advancement, professionalism and expertise, have a look a this advertisement for a doctoral studentship.

UCL and the National Maritime Museum are working collaboratively to offer this studentship which is supported by the AHRC and is great opportunity!

Using the Royal Navy as a case study, the successful candidate will utilise a wide variety of sources to examine the nature and broader meaning of patronage in late-eighteenth and early nineteenth century Britain. Using the collections in the NMM the candidate will make a detailed examination of the workings of patronage within the naval establishment. He or she will consult the papers of politicians, administrators and serving officers, and delve into the various applications, references and testimonials submitted. They will also asses how naval patronage conformed to wider social norms, perhaps comparing it to other professions such as the army, the church and the law.

For information and details of how to apply have a look at the following website:

A Student Perspective: The Role of the UK Chamber of Shipping

Many shipping- and trade’s associations have been established in the United Kingdom since the nineteenth century. However, the UK Chamber of Shipping in its current form dates only from 1975. In 1878, most of the above mentioned associations agreed to support the formation of a national trade association, the Chamber of Shipping of the United Kingdom. This rapidly became the dominant trade association for shipping and most of the older, regional associations became members. The Chamber’s forerunner was granted a Royal Charter in 1921, and in 1975 merged with the Shipping Federation, which was formed as an employers’ association in response to increasing trade union activity in 1890. In 1992, the forerunner was renamed as the Chamber of Shipping and was re-branded as the UK Chamber of Shipping in 2012, to emphasize its identity.

The Chamber is recognized by the UK Government, EU institutions and other national and international organizations as the focal point for consultation with the British shipping industry on regulatory and other key developments, thus giving it advance notice of forthcoming changes. The Chamber has a well-developed mechanism and communication channels for promulgating relevant information throughout the industry, Government, Parliament, international organizations, unions, general public as well as media.

The mission of the Chamber is to champion and protect the UK shipping industry on behalf of its around 140 members from across the maritime sector, representing over 28 million DWT members. They are passionate about UK shipping and work to champion its future success and London’s status as the premier global maritime centre. The Chamber work closely with Government, Parliament, policy makers and other parties to:

1. Gain recognition of shipping’s contribution to the UK economy and employment;
2. Make clear the impact of upcoming and existing legislation on the future of shipping in the UK;
3. Bring them together to work with the UK shipping industry and the related national, European and international maritime organizations.

The UK Chamber of Shipping has five committees covering the most prominent policy areas for UK shipping within its membership and three sector panels to deal with issues affecting particular sections of the shipping industry. The Chamber is monitoring the new developments of shipping and other relating spheres, it proposes and agrees policy, it represents that policy to the appropriate audiences, aims at the adoption of its policies and at ensuring their implementation. The Chamber works with a range of national and international regulators, maritime and trade bodies across the industry, which often have common goals in terms of lobbying and political activity and championing the profile of maritime activities. The UK Chamber is often active within this cluster to help the UK maritime industry to achieve its common goals.

According to ‘The economic impact of the UK maritime services sector’ published by Maritime UK in December 2012, the maritime services sector made an estimated £13.8 billion direct value-added contribution to GDP in 2011, equivalent to 0.9% of the UK economy. It is estimated that the maritime services sector created approximately 262,700 jobs in 2011 or 0.8% of total UK employment. Moreover, including direct, indirect and induced impacts, the maritime services sector is estimated to support 634,900 jobs, or 1 in every 50 jobs in the UK. Moreover, once these multiplier effects are accounted for, the sector makes a value added contribution to GDP of £31.7 billion, equivalent to 2.1% of the UK economy. The above mentioned figures imply that the maritime industry is a larger employer, contributor and producer for UK national economy. And furthermore, these figures indicate that the role of the UK Chamber of Shipping is really important not only for the British shipping but for the whole British economy, now and in the future.

Hsien-Chang Yang, MA International Maritime Policy Student

A Student Perspective: Shipping Pools, Liner Conferences by another name?

Shipping Pools. Refer to them as you wish: the reincarnation of a bygone shipping system, shipping economic metamorphosis, old wine in a new bottle, the 3rd way shipping method – whichever way you want, the core facts remain unchanged. Shipping pools are the Liner Conference systems all over again, right?

For a century and half or thereabouts, shipping concerns were able to arrange themselves into cartels called conferences in a bid to agree, among other things:
• the quantity of goods that could be allowed on the market at any one time
• the schedules of deliveries
• the freight rates
• the terms of contracts
• the allotments of freight to be ferried by individual ship owners (quotas)

This easy, unchallenged way of making money continued even after the birth of the mother of all supra-national policymaking institutions, the EEC, the forerunner of the EU. These cartels were exempted from all European competition laws for many years as a way of protecting the European shipping industry – a kind of bulwark against flag of convenience shipping, a way of augmenting Europe’s lost competitive edge in the global market place – a way of ensuring greater prosperity in Europe. Can you believe it? Yes. Take it from me. It is true. Shameful but true, really.

However, everything came to an end when in the wake of immense pressure from the United States and GATT, the predecessor the World Trade Organization (WTO), it suddenly dawned on the Europeans that the conferencing business model was not only utterly uncompetitive but also hugely unfair to all non European shipping companies and all non European consumers, especially those in dirt poor developing countries. Hence, under EU guidance, the Liner Conference system was faced out slowly and finally prohibited on 17 October 2008. It was said then that a breach of the prohibition would result into hefty fines, anything up to and beyond a shipping company’s global one year profits.

Gee. How did the ending of the Conference impact European ship owners? How did it impact freight rates and surcharges worldwide? What about service levels – did they go up or down? It is reasonable to wonder if someone has ever incurred the wrath of the EU, right – and how much was the penalty? How did it impact regional port throughputs? What about impoverished states – how did the end of the Conference impact them? Be a good maritime student. Find out on your own. Every good admiralty and maritime law guide published after 2008 have answers to these questions.
Tell me. How are liner conferences different from shipping pools? Are they one and the same animal? What are shipping pools, anyway? Read my next piece to find the answers to these hot questions.

Gola Traub, MA International Maritime Policy Student