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The economic impact of the UK maritime services sector in Scotland


The research aims to evaluate the economic contribution of the UK maritime services sector, including the contribution of the ports, shipping and maritime business services industries, in Scotland in 2011. In particular, it aims to assess: the direct impact of the sector on the Scottish economy in terms of its contribution to gross domestic product (GDP), employment and tax revenue generated for the government; the indirect impacts on employment and output via the supply chain; and induced impacts from those directly and indirectly employed by the industry using their wages to buy consumer goods and services.


The methodology consisted of desk-based research drawn from various business surveys, Office for National Statistics data and a range of government sources.


The study found that the Scottish maritime services sector has a significant economic impact. Including the direct, indirect and induced impacts, in 2011, the sector is estimated to have contributed £3.8 billion to Scottish GDP, supported over 75,200 jobs in the country and generated nearly £1.2 billion in tax revenue for the Exchequer. In terms of direct impact, the sector in Scotland: directly employed 41,600 people, primarily in the ports and shipping industries, nearly twice as many as in any other country or region in the UK; contributed over £2.2 billion in GVA to the Scottish economy in 2011, more than the contribution to the Scottish economy of civil engineering and the land transport sector; and generated over £651 million in tax revenue for the Exchequer, through a combination of corporation taxes on company profits, employee income taxes, NICs and other indirect taxes. As well as the direct contribution to the economy, it was estimated that 18,400 jobs were supported in Scotland indirectly via the supply chain activity based in the country, with a further 15,200 jobs supported through the induced spending of both direct and indirect employees. In terms of the multiplier effects on GDP, estimates suggest that the UK maritime services sector supported £890 million through its Scottish based supply chain, while an additional £728 million was generated through the expenditure of direct and indirect employees on consumer goods and services produced in Scotland. Additional tax revenue amounting to nearly £521 million was generated through these multiplier impacts.


The report does not contain any recommendations.

Author Oxford Economics
Published Year 2013
Report Type Research