It also showed that productivity per worker stood well above the UK average at £77,897, compared to £50,830, and that the sector contributes nearly £40 billion to the UK economy.

“As the engine of British trade, the UK maritime sector supports nearly 1 million jobs, contributes tens of billions to the UK GDP and drives exports as well as inward investment. Half a trillion pounds worth of goods pass through UK ports each year,” said David Dingle, chairman of Maritime UK.

Key findings

  • The Maritime sector makes a substantive macroeconomic contribution to the UK through turnover, Gross Value Added (GVA), employment and through the compensation of employees. It is estimated that the sector directly supported just over £40 billion in business turnover, £14.5 billion in GVA and 185,700 jobs for UK employees in 2015.
  • The substantial direct economic contribution of the Maritime sector exceeds those of other comparable industries. For example, the sectors direct turnover contribution of just over £40 billion compares to £31.1 billion from the entire Aerospace industry in 2015
  • The direct contribution of the Maritime sector through turnover, GVA and employment has increased since 2010, when turnover, GVA and employment are estimated to have been £35.5 billion, £13.6 billion and 178,800 jobs respectively. 
  • The Maritime sector also helped to raise billions of pounds each year to the UK Exchequer and made a sizeable contribution to UK trade through exports of goods and services. 
  • After quantifying the indirect economic impacts through the industry supply chains and induced effects on expenditures, it is estimated that the Maritime sector helped to support a total of £37.4 billion of GVA in 2015. This implies that, for every £1 in GVA directly contributed on average by the sector, a further £2.59 in GVA was generated across the UK economy. 
  • These aggregate economic impacts associated with the Maritime sector also extend to turnover, employment and the compensation of employees. It is estimated that the Maritime sector helped to support a total of £91.9 billion in turnover, 957,300 jobs and £21.0 billion through the compensation of employees in 2015. 
  • While the economic contribution of the industry is spread across all UK regions, London contributes the most to GVA and employment, both directly and more widely. In 2015, it is estimated that the industry in London directly contributed £4.3 billion of GVA (29% of the industry) and 35,800 jobs (19%). After indirect and induced effects are considered, the aggregate contribution from London rises to £8.9 billion of GVA (26%) and 236,000 jobs (28%).

“The importance of the sector will only grow post-Brexit. We’re supremely confident that we can play a crucial role in positioning Britain as an outward-looking, global trading maritime nation," said Mr Dingle.

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