Transport secretary Anne-Marie Trevelyan’s decision to take on UK shipping brief has been broadly welcomed by the industry.

Trevelyan, who became transport secretary under new prime minister Liz Truss this month, has chosen not to replace former shipping minister Robert Courts.

Her move to take charge of shipping was called “broadly positive” by UK Chamber of Shipping director of communications Tom Bartosak-Harlow.

He told TradeWinds it is not unheard of for transport secretaries to take on a particular brief themselves.

“For us, it’s about having someone in the Cabinet bashing the table for shipping,” he said.

Bartosak-Harlow said chamber representatives hope to meet the government’s new transport team in the next couple of weeks.

The organisation believes shipping will be important to the government’s “pro-growth” agenda, in terms of getting exports to markets and ensuring supply chain continuity.

Tim Morris, chief executive of the UK Major Ports Group, is glad to see that the “vital role of maritime has been recognised by it forming part of the secretary of state’s own portfolio”.

He said Trevelyan has a lot in her in-tray and he hopes maritime and ports get the attention they deserve.

Big opportunities

“There are huge opportunities for ports to contribute to a renewed sustainable growth agenda for the UK. Ports need the government to play an enabling role to maximise the potential of the sector,” he added.

Morris wants to see pro-investment development rules introduced, as well as ensuring the country captures more value from offshore renewable energy.

“The UK’s major ports look forward to working with the secretary of state to deliver more investment, growth and jobs, both through her own department and championing the sector across” government, he said.

The group is the trade body for the country’s major port operators, representing nine of the top 10 operators.

Members collectively handle 75% of the volumes through 40 ports.