THE UK Chamber of Shipping has called for immediate support from the United Kingdom government to ensure freight continues to flow.

The UK Chamber is the trade association and self-styled “voice” of the UK shipping industry.

Chamber CEO Bob Sanguinetti said, “We have already seen a number of ferry companies reduce their services and send a large number of their staff home. Unless these companies get access to the government financial packages now, this is likely to be followed by further reduction of services, or indeed companies going out of business”.

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“We are being told that it is fast becoming cheaper to lay ships up than to keep them running at a loss. This will put at risk our vital supply and essential logistics lines – the life blood of this nation,” Mr Sanguinetti said.

“As an island nation, we should be underwriting the future sustainability of our industry and its seafarers. The time to act is now.”

More than 50% of the UK’s food is imported and 95% of its trade is transported by ships. Last year, 99% of goods from non-EU countries were brought to the country via ships.

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