What an Independent Scotland Means for Shipping

Flag_of_ScotlandThere is an upcoming election in Scotland and the vote could result in Scotland declaring independence from the United Kingdom. This is certainly a potentially important moment in the history of Scotland. For many residents in Scotland, an opportunity for independence can be joyous. However, some people in the business sector are deeply concerned that declaring independence could be disastrous. They are concerned that declaring independence could impact trade, including being negative for exports.

Currently, the biggest trade commodities for export from Scotland include the industries of food and drink, as well as the energy sector. In the energy sector, Scotland exports petroleum. For food and drink, whisky is a major item that is shipped by ocean vessels. On average, Scotland exports 40 bottles of whisky every second. The whisky manufacturers are concerned that if Scotland declares independence, then the whisky industry will lose the support of foreign governments and international trade agreements. An independent Scotland might need to negotiate with the European Union, which will take time. Tariffs with the UK are unlikely, however.

Freight forwarders are not the only industry companies concerned. A survey from international shipping leaders found that 55% believe that an independent Scotland could have a negative impact on the maritime industry. They are concerned that the newly independent government might not be equipped to handle shipping needs. And Scotland, with a small population, could be isolated from trade. Those who ship ocean freight with Scotland should keep a close eye on the news to see if Scotland does indeed become independent.

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