How Will Industry Attract Millennials?

How Will Industry Attract Millennials?

Millennials are the most educated, technologically savvy and culturally diverse of any generation before them.

But, we millennials seem to have gained a bad ‘rep’ when it comes to job hopping. Research by Bentley University in Boston found 80% feel they’ll work for 4 or more companies in their career. Some people have speculated that millennials are more ‘entitled’ than previous generations. However, as a millennial myself, I believe that my generation is less focused on just earning a living and perhaps feel more ‘entitled’ to work in a career we truly love.

Being part of a generation that has grown up with technology; the internet and mobile phones has meant that jobs and job opportunities have changed dramatically. The internet has literally made anything possible:

  • Model. Platform: Instagram.
  • Platform: Etsy.
  • Platform: Soundcloud.
  • Fashion Designer. Platform: Shopify.
  • Antique Dealer. Platform: Ebay.
  • Platform: Wattpad.
  • Platform: WordPress, Tumblr, Squarespace.
  • Film Maker. Platform: Youtube.
  • Platform: LinkedIn.
  • Platform: Instagram.
  • World Traveller. Platform: Blogger/Tumblr/Wordpress.
  • PhD or Master degrees online.
  • Graphic Designer. Platform: Adobe Creative Suite, then advertising yourself through social media.
  • Platform: Youtube/Hubspot/Digital Garage.
  • Platform: IndieGoGo.

By 2020, millennials will be nearly half of all workers. With a generation more inclined to create their own business, the above jobs have become common.

But, where does this leave international trade jobs? The work that keeps the world running. People in my generation are flocking to tech companies and their own start-ups, looking for meaning and purpose. It has been said that there is a new generational snobbery, “I have a degree – that job is beneath me”; “I can aspire to more”. But what will happen if industries such as the one I’m in, Maritime or Oil and Gas, Construction, Engineering don’t entice the next generation to work for them? How can they interest Millennials?

Curious and worried about how I may get my Amazon shipments in years to come, I decided to dig a bit deeper than ‘millennials must except how an industry works’ and look at how industry could start working for the new generation.

I started with myself. I am 24, so I’m included in the millennial generation. I have an Art Degree but have found myself after countless bar jobs, with my first ‘job job’ as a PR/Communications and Digital Marketer for a Freight Forwarder. This is a job I would never have even considered I could use my skills in.

Anyone that has worked in hospitality or retail will know the desperation of wanting a ‘normal’ life. I set about applying for anything I thought I could at least get an interview for, then hoped my willingness to learn would shine through. Neel Ratti, the General Manager here at Tuscor Lloyds, saw something in me and offered me the job, despite me having no experience and no idea how logistics, supply chains or even what the difference between containers was. After 9 months, these have started to become my norm. I have been lucky enough to be hired by a company that wants me to grow and develop my role and will nurture and support me along my journey. This is something that has always been a motivation for me, along with the ability to travel. 6 months in, I was able to experience being part of the team to go to the Breakbulk Europe trade show held in Belgium, one of the largest trade shows in our industry. Next May I will be able to go again, where the show will be held in Germany. My company also have an office in Mexico me being able to go at some point is hopefully on the cards too.

I looked at articles about millennials and how to motivate them, seeing if this matched up with how I felt. The more I read about my generation, the needier we seemed. I decided to interview a friend, I selected 3 key questions:

  1. What attracted you to your current job?
  2. What is making you stay?
  3. What would make you consider a career in international industry/traditional industry?


The job itself is something I love doing, I’ve been able to turn a hobby into a career and not many people can say they do that! The interaction with large groups of people and getting to be outdoors are a huge part of what keeps me there. Every day is different and I never know what will happen, each day is an adventure. I’ve found my dream so unfortunately nothing would interest me in a career in a trade industry. That said, our generation I think has lost touch with these industries. I think everyone still has a very prehistoric view of what working in traditional industry is actually like now.

Tom Key

Paintball Marshal

He raised a very good point. Some traditional industry jobs have amazing benefits and a better than average salary, but young people don’t know this. Like I once did, I also feel my generation has a warped view of these type of traditional industries. Shipping doesn’t just include people working on board the ship or in a docking yard. It encompasses a whole range of skills and qualifications that are needed to get the job done: logistics professionals, captains, import/export clerks, graphic designers, website engineers, the list goes on. There are countless technological advances happening in international industry as well, but do Millennials know? How can companies get them to pay attention?

This summer we have had the pleasure of having Rhys Rodriguez be part of our creative team as a summer intern. While being with us he has written 9 articles for our company blog and even had one published by Greater Manchester Chamber of Commerce. As a final piece hes has written about his ‘Summer Fling with the Shipping Industry‘ outlining how his view of the shipping industry has changed over his time with us. Maybe if more Millennials looked at internships with companies like ours, they could see all the opportunities they could utilize!

I believe a good starting point could be focusing more on the futuristic technology industry is striving to integrate. Maersk teaming up with IBM to introduce Blockchain technology to their company and the autonomous electric ship that is being built in the Port of Larvik in Norway, to name a few. Industries need to push this idea to help excite interest in the next generation. Automating the mundane routine jobs but utilising and focusing human skill on the challenging task where creativity is needed. Millennials need to realise how difficult yet personal the job can be.

However, it’s not a one-sided challenge. Millennials must join the conversation on trade.  A Pew Poll conducted last year found that millennial knowledge on global industry issues ranks the worst among all age categories. There should be a constructive dialogue to encourage young voters to see the benefits of trade and how it is related to their daily lives.

Our love for technology and social liberalism beg for more understanding of opportunities in traditional trade, not less.


Also published by: Great Manchester Chamber of Commerce. Read here.

Consolidation of Container Shipping

Consolidation of Container Shipping

2016 saw a massive amount of change in the container shipping sector. The ongoing consolidation of the sector in one form or another flooded the headlines. To put this into context, it’s interesting to see how the level of consolidation relates to other parts of shipping, how it has developed over time and how it might progress.

It’s quite clear that the shipping industry is a fragmented business. Based on the start of 2017 Clarksons Research data, 88,892 ships in the world fleet were spread across 24,267 owners. That works out at less than 4 vessels per owner. Even though 145 owners with more than 50 ships accounted for almost 12,000 of the vessels, it’s still not that consolidated. The liner shipping business however is one of the more consolidated parts of shipping. As well as being home to some of the industry’s larger companies. At the start of the year, the 5,154 container ships in the fleet were owned by 622 owner groups, about 8 ships per owner, but, perhaps more relevantly, were operated by 326 carriers, about 16 ships per operator. Each of the top 8 operators deployed more than 100 ships. But despite the less fragmented nature of the sector, recent market conditions have led to another round of consolidation in the box business.

The three largest operators (by deployed capacity) at the start of 2017 were European: Maersk Line (647 vessels deployed) followed by MSC (453) and CMA-CGM (454). Of the remaining carriers in the top 20 all but three were based in Asia or the Middle East. However, what’s interesting is that out of the 20 largest carriers back in late 2014, 4 are now gone. CSAV was acquired by Hapag-Lloyd, NOL/APL by CMA-CGM and the two major Chinese lines merged. And of course, in late summer 2016, the financial collapse of Hanjin Shipping marked the sector’s biggest casualty in 30 years.

Box sector consolidation seems to actually be part of a long-term trend. Back in 1996 the top 10 carriers deployed 45% of capacity and at the start of 2017 that figure stood at 70%. The coming year is set to see Hapag-Lloyd complete its merger with UASC, and Maersk Line’s planned acquisition of Hamburg-Sud is also in the pipelines. The second half of last year also saw the three major Japanese operators declare their intention to merge containership operations in a joint venture due to be established this year and start operations in 2018. The ‘scenario’ based on these changes would see the top 10’s share at 79%, nearly twice as much as 20 years ago.

The geopolitical alliances that are in the pipe lines are turning the box sector into a Monopoly game, with Europe owning Mayfair and China owning Park Lane. Within the current business model, continued consolidation might be needed for the container shipping industry to be profitable. They need size to finance and fill bigger ships. Many hope this will help the recalibration of market fundamentals and eventually support improved market conditions.

Fun Facts: Shipping Containers

Our creative team have put together a fun facts infographic about the trusty standardized shipping container, that some people might not know.

How Will Industry Attract Millennials?

By 2020, millennials will be nearly half of all workers. With a generation more inclined to create their own business, where does this leave international trade jobs?

It’s Seafarers Awareness Week!

It’s Seafarers Awareness Week!

This week marks the 2017 Seafarers Awareness Week, established by the charity, Seafarers UK to promote maritime employment opportunities and recognise the essential contributions made to UK industry by the estimated 23,000 active seafarers. With over 90% of British imports coming in by sea, the seafarer’s role is vital, acting as the backbone of our industry. This week is dedicated to fundraising as well as the awareness of the wider issues around seafarer’s lives.

Life at sea, and life after it, can be lonely and laborious. The right support for seafarers is imperative and this is where Seafarers UK comes in.


British Imports Coming by Sea

“A large number of those serving will be facing problems of very different kinds; long periods of separation from friends and family extended periods of duty, fatigue, and working heavy machinery whilst being exposed to harsh weather. Such dangers and difficulties can lead to disability, depression, debt, relationship breakdown, homelessness or even death.”

Source: Seafarers UK

People Assisted by Seafarers UK in 2016

The work of Seafarers UK extends to; funding, welfare, education grants and advice on benefits, debt, housing and employment to ex-seafarers. In 2016 alone, the charity assisted nearly 200,000 people in the UK and are determined to grow further in 2017.



One of the charity’s more recent projects is the construction of the Seafarers UK Centenary Wing, a new accommodation complex in Mariners’ Park, Wallasey. The aim was to create a hub to support elderly and retired seafarers who may need extra assistance or care. In 2015 the project had £1.2m committed to it and fundraising continues to cover the remaining costs of the building and develop the hub’s facilities, fittings and furnishing.

Seafarers’ global contribution to the international economy and industry is often unseen, their issues unheard. Trade unions are used for seafarers make their voices clear, but ultimately it is the entire maritime industry’s responsibility to ensure the safety, dignity and well-being of all seafarers. So continued promotion for Seafarers Awareness Week and support for Seafarers UK is important to ensure the well-being of these important figures in our industry.


If you would like to show your support to for the amazing seafarer, then donate to Seafarers UK following the link here!

Not so objective 2017 review

There are different attitudes that one can have towards the beginning of each new year. Some struggle to leave the past, overanalysing the previous months. Yet their clock is the only one that stopped. Others treat this opportunity as a blank page and...

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Containerisation – the Unsung Hero

Containerisation – the Unsung Hero

Sat at a port in 1937, at the age of 24, a young man had an idea.


19 years later, that same young man, made that idea a reality and that reality revolutionised the way we live. 

In 1956 on the 26th of April, the converted World War 2 tanker – SS IdealX – left New Jersey on its maiden voyage. This marked the first journey in history where cargo was packed into standardised containers.

Before this day, cargo was loaded onto trucks and shipped piece by piece, this is how Breakbulk cargo started out. The whole loading process could take more than a week and the dock worker’s wages were only around $20 a day.

The young man, Malcom McLean owned a trucking company. He decided to invest in his idea, so he sold everything he owned, bought a ship, then developed the method of Containerisation. He designed corrugated boxes that would fit onto any truck or ship that could then transport them to and from anywhere. This started to connect the manufacturer straight to the consumer. Instead of the cargo being handled by endless different people, this meant no one would then handle the products until the vendor, distributor or consumer received it. Not only had Mclean made the shipping process easier and quicker, it became universal. This one aspect is incredible, as a species, we can’t decide on a universal currency, type of plug or even which side of the road to drive on, but we do agree on the standardised shipping container.

This process could now be done in a matter of hours. Shipping costs plummeted quickly and cities started to be ‘put on the map’ as their ports were perfect for the new, larger ports needed after the shipping boom. This has helped to shape our global economy and trade network. It can now be cheaper to manufacture something on the other side of the world because shipping is so inexpensive.

Shipping from Europe to Australia went from


Down to


From 1993 – 2002 the average shipment of a cargo ship grew by


Some people think this could be the last great innovation in shipping. But, with the digitalization of the industry on the rise and new technologies like Blockchain starting to be used by industry giants, there’s definitely room for another.


Not so objective 2017 review

There are different attitudes that one can have towards the beginning of each new year. Some struggle to leave the past, overanalysing the previous months. Yet their clock is the only one that stopped. Others treat this opportunity as a blank page and...

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Make Way for the Freight Forwarding Apprenticeship

Make Way for the Freight Forwarding Apprenticeship

Last week the department of education gave the green light to the employer group, known as ‘Trailblazers’, to create the standard for a specific international Freight Forwarding Operative Apprenticeship.

This is something people in the industry have been asking the government for years’ now. There is a shortage of skilled workers in the sector and with increasing pressure on the industry to deliver to tighter timescales, more highly skilled HGV drivers are needed. It is estimated that 35,000 jobs are readily available, but the resources to train and build young people up isn’t there.


The Trailblazer group is made up of 38 members, including Neon Freight, DHL and International Forwarding to just name a few. Driving this is the industry giant Kuehne + Nagel, led by Jon Hettrick – the HR director – who has been a dedicated member of the team on this vital industry endeavour.

“The whole sector can benefit from training and development provision that delivers the specialist knowledge and skills we use every day in freight forwarding,” –  Mr Hettrick

The British International Freight Association (BIFA) have always been a huge encouragement to the Trailblazer group. In January, BIFA called upon the wider freight forwarding community to provide support for the initiative. BIFA said it was imperative that the industry has an apprenticeship scheme now more than ever.


With full support, the Trailblazer group submitted an expression of interest (EOI) in January, now with the approval confirmed they can start work on the blueprints and standards detailing what the apprenticeship will entail.

The story doesn’t end here though, following this submission, BUILDUK released a document outlining how Trailblazer apprenticeships are coming into all industries. The Minister of state for apprenticeships and skills, Robert Halforn said that:

By putting more control in the hands of employers, we are ensuring apprenticeships are high quality and address skills shortages facing the industry.” 

Offering more opportunities to young people gives them a chance to gain vital skills, and this movement forward is not only a milestone for the freight forward industry but for how education can be accessed and applied to real day-to-day work.


Somali Pirate Hijacking

Somali Pirate Hijacking

When piracy hijacking was at its height back in 2011, over 237 attacks were being carried out.

Monday the 13th of march saw the first pirate hijacking of a maritime vessel in 5years. The Aris 13 and its crew were traveling from Djibouti to Mogadishu but took a short cut through the horn of Africa and Socotra. They were soon ambushed by Somali Pirates around 11 miles offshore by two armed ‘skiffs’.


The Sri Lankan crew of 8 managed to send out a distress signal shortly before their AIS (automatic identification system) was turned off and they changed course for the Somalian coastline.

The vessel has been found docked near the port town of Alula were the regional naval force (EU Navfor) have been in contact with Elders from the area that have asked to be given a chance to speak with the Somali Pirates first to try and talk them out of holding the crew and vessel hostage any longer.

The EU Novfor have stated that if this tactic doesn’t work they will use force to rescue the crew

In recent years Naval Patrols have been increased to deter pirates. The Somali Basin is such a vast area, that it’s very difficult for them to reach a distressed vessel in time. The people working on board the vessels have found that the biggest deterrent has been Armed Forces on board.

Neptune Maritime Security has been running armed protection teams on around 70 vessels this month as they pass through the HRA (high-risk area). In the past, Captains have gone up to 15 Knots or more and even taken evasive action to create bow waves that can sink the skiffs.

With the Maritime industry still on the fence about whether they should have constant armed guards, could this be the wake-up call they needed? Or will it spark a new era of Piracy?

Word will have begun to spread that not many vessels have armed guards on board anymore. Combine this with the situation in Somalia, where job opportunities are scarce and poverty is just as widespread as a decade ago, and you have the same key ingredients that triggered people to take this desperate act of piracy in the first place.


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