The UK Chamber of Shipping has called for a multi-million pound relief package to support the shipping sector during the Covid-19 coronavirus outbreak.

Bob Sanguinetti

“Without immediate and ongoing financial support from the government, UK shipping companies will struggle to import the goods we will all need during this difficult time. To keep essential medical supplies, food, manufacturing components and other goods entering the country the shipping sector must get immediate help,” said Bob Sanguinetti, chief executive at the UK Chamber of Shipping

In terms of volume, the shipping sector moves 95 percent of UK cargo. Sanguinetti said that it is vital that ships can continue to sail into the UK and ports remain open.

“It is of critical importance that supply lines are kept open so that goods can still reach the shops and hospitals. This depends on ships being able to dock where necessary and for crew changes to take place. Unfortunately, with flights being cut back and more and more countries imposing quarantining, this is becoming increasingly difficult. 

“Seafarers must be given special treatment so that they can continue to do their essential work and keep goods moving, giving us the best chance of beating this deadly virus,” he added.