Every year, hundreds if not thousands of shipping professionals from London and the rest of the UK board Easyjet and Norwegian Air flights to Athens or Oslo to join in the festivities at Posidonia and Nor-Shipping.
So much so that there are many based in the UK that only ever meet their peers in foreign parts.
And so it was that in 2013 a few brave souls decided that this year was London's year to stop watching from the sidelines and get into the game. Limbering up, pulling up its socks and shuttle running along the edge of the pitch, London promoted the inaugural London International Shipping Week with gusto.
"But," we all asked, "will it work?" Well, it did ..with knobs on. So, a very well done to the LISW organisers who pulled off no mean feat in getting British politicians involved from London Mayor Boris Johnson (yes, he is a real person and not an actor) to Prime Minister David Cameron. I must admit that I was sceptical about the apparent lack of knowledge among the principal community, especially the traders, but in the end, what the hell, there were literally thousands of people staggering from event to event (52 in all apparently) all through the week, culminating in a superb gala dinner at the Grosvenor House Hotel on the Thursday evening (check out Spinnaker's Phil Parry (front) and Lawrance Bresslaw (3rd from front) in their dickie bows in the accompanying photo).
Good show London. Jolly well done!!