Opinion poll confirms ‘seablindness’ is a myth

on Tuesday, 02 May 2017. Posted in Petrospot News

UK politicians and the general public have demonstrated overwhelmingly that they recognise shipping as the biggest mover of the nation’s imports and exports, according to a new study commissioned by the UK Chamber of Shipping.

Leading pollster Comres surveyed 2,026 members of the British public and 127 UK MPs during the first four months of this year. Respondents were asked to name the mode of transport that carries the largest proportion of import and export cargo to/from the UK.

Some 87% of MPs and 84% of the public knew that the answer is shipping, disproving the belief that people do not understand shipping’s importance to the UK’s trading economy.

The UK’s major ports handled 473.5 million tonnes of freight during the year 2016, according to most recent statistics from the Department for Transport (DfT)[1]. Some 95% of the UK’s international trade is moved by sea.

Results from politicians

Politicians from Labour and the Scottish National Party (SNP) are the most likely to know that shipping carries the greatest proportion of the UK’s import and export freight, according to the study’s findings.

All of the SNP politicians surveyed showed familiarity with shipping’s role, followed closely by 91% of Labour respondents. Perhaps surprisingly, a smaller percentage of Conservative MPs demonstrated this knowledge (82%).

Younger politicians (those born since 1960) and those who have recently taken office displayed the greatest proportion of sea-awareness, the data shows, coinciding with the UK Chamber’s recent efforts to raise the shipping industry’s political profile.

Results from the general public

Men displayed slightly more familiarity with shipping than women, with nearly nine in ten men (87%) answering correctly, in contrast to around four in five women (81%)

The findings, however, highlight that more than can be done to increase sea-awareness among young people. That being said, three-quarters (73%) of those aged 18-24, the youngest group in the study, knew that shipping is the UK’s most important cargo-mover. In contrast, just over nine out of ten people (91%) in the oldest group of respondents (aged 65+) were sea-aware. Read more