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Welcome to the Maritime Home Page of Steve Harris. In the 2014 UNCTAD annual report,it is estimated that over 80% (by volume) and 70% (by value) of all the world's internationally traded goods are carried by sea. Without many of us actually realizing it, our lifestyles are dependent upon a thriving maritime industry, just for the everyday things we take for granted. Within this site I have put together some pictures and facts about the commercial maritime and marine insurance world, within which I have worked for 40 years. Although I do regularly lecture on maritime and marine insurance subjects all over the world, I am based in the United Kingdom.
Below are links to aspects of the maritime world that seem to take up so much of my life. To navigate around this site, please click on any of the portholes below that take your interest, or to test your knowledge of maritime matters, why not take one of our free (fun ?) quiz tests below ? Thank you for visiting us and thanks also to our sponsors who help pay for the upkeep of this site.






Arctic Navigation - Opportunity or risk?

During August 2014, Steve received a lot of international press coverage, following a media briefing we gave in London, voicing concerns over the increased international, commercial usage of the Northern Sea Route (NSR) around the north of Russia and now, following the successful (just) voyage of the NORDIC ORION in October 2013, the potential growth in transits of the Northwest Passage, north of Alaska and Canada. Although global warming might be the reason for such routes to become increasingly viable in the future, there are major concerns that certainly marine insurers have and perhaps others should have too. On the right is small copy of an article, featuring Steve and his chairman, Marcus Baker, published recently by Tradewinds magazine and has been been much talked about in shipping circles around the world. To read the full article, click on the small picture on the right for a larger version.

The hugely popular "fun" maritime quiz that we've had up here on the website for some time is designed to see just what you know about maritime matters and now (due to popular demand !) has been expanded into 3 levels, primary, intermediate and expert levels, which you can try by clicking on the buttons below. Having completed any of the three levels, (which are all completely free), you can either submit your answers on-line for a personal assessment by our panel of judges, or check out the answers yourself after you have answered the ten questions at each level. There is also a "Kid's corner" to explain the parts of a ship to our younger seafarers!

Visitors to this website come from all over the world (as you can see by visiting our RECENT VISITORS PAGE ). The maritime information provided within this site is often used as a reference guide by people in business, in governments and at academic institutions around the world.

Marine insurance courses
Four times a year, on behalf of my company, I run highly popular 5 day marine insurance courses in Norwich, England (and recently, 2 or 3 day courses in Dubai, South Korea, Egypt, Singapore, Malaysia, Rotterdam, India, Tokyo, Xiamen, Beijing and Shanghai in China, Hanoi and Siagon in Vietnam, New York, Washington DC and Chicago too) covering the way the shipping world operates today, its current issues, the vessels, contractual obligations and insurance coverage. Delegates include shipowners, underwriters, P&I clubs, brokers, lawyers, financiers and master mariners! 2015 sees a whole range of marine insurance courses already scheduled around the globe, but if you would like to know more about the courses run by Marsh in the UK, then either visit the Marsh marine training webpage or and he can send you the brochure for the current year's Marsh UK 5 day marine insurance courses, with full details of locations, contents and prices.

If you want an example of why these courses are so popular and so necessary, then let's just take the issue of piracy. If someone attacks your ship, is he is "pirate" or a "rover" ? Is it an act of "piracy" or "riot" or even an "act of war" ? The law is rather muddled and asking the attackers to fill out a questionnaire to ascertain their 'motive' is perhaps, not advisable ....
Piracy has changed over the recent couple of years, and the "Somalia factor" is not anything like as prevalent as it had been, but instead the focus has shifted to west Africa and Gulf of Guinea in particular, with oil shipments being the main purpose of the attacks with little or no interest in "kidnap & ransom" of the crew. Also, the waters of S.E. Asia. off Indonesia are causing increasing concern, as the attacks, although largely of an 'opportunist theft' nature, have increased quite markedly over the past 3 - 4 years, with the pirates becoming ever bolder and audacious.

The world's press and other media often delight in making the maritime industry out to be full of rogues and villains. The reality is that the vast majority of those involved in shipping are highly professional, having to work in a very dangerous industry, where seamen risk their lives daily, battling against both natural elements and human failings. According to the United Nations, working at sea is still one of the world's 5 most dangerous occupations. Maritime vessels (large and small) have dominated my working life, and by clicking on one of the portholes below, you may learn something about the maritime industry (on which, incidentally, we all depend) and its problems, especially during these tough economic times.

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The sponsors of this webpage are a totally independent company to the owners of this website. Sponsporship of this website only helps to cover the costs of maintaining this website. The owners of this website take no responsibility and do not accept any liability arising from the actions or advice given by the sponsors. Sponsorship of this website in no way implies any endorsement by the owenrs of this website of the products or services of the sponsors. These pages are purely non-commercial and where possible, credits are always given to others, but if we have accidentally and unintentionally breached a copyright attaching to any of the photographs within this website, please and we shall remove the photograph immediately.