Dutch Maritime Sector Set to Grow Further in 2014

The Dutch shipbuilding cluster and maritime suppliers achieved good results in 2013. The total annual turnover increased from € 6.1 billion in 2012 to € 6.4 billion in 2013.

Moreover, the substantially larger order portfolios compared to the previous year indicate further growth in 2014.

Netherlands Maritime Technology expects a further increase in the turnover of the entire Dutch shipbuilding cluster this year.

“Everything indicates that the economy has seen the worst and will slowly start to grow again,” says Chairman J.J.C.M. van Dooremalen.

“Netherlands Maritime Technology asks the Dutch government to stimulate this positive development in 2014 by continuing to work on methods for strengthening technical education and innovative capacities, ensuring a level playing field and stimulating export activities.”

As explained by Netherlands Maritime Technology, through intensive cooperation with shipping companies, Dutch maritime companies are frontrunners in the development and construction of green vessels and systems. This sets them apart from the competition, and gives better access to financing for similar projects.

Dutch suppliers also managed to strengthen their order portfolios. Many of them have manufacturing facilities in foreign countries, while retaining knowledge and control in their Dutch branches. Their growth is mainly related to export activities and activities of foreign branches.

The Dutch shipbuilding cluster 2013

In 2013, the Dutch shipbuilding cluster achieved a turnover of € 6.4 billion (2012: € 6.1 billion) and a total employment of 29,361 FTE (2012: 29,466 FTE).

Shipbuilding worldwide

The year 2013 saw the first clear decline in the number of delivered vessels. Globally, there was a 20% reduction in tonnage compared to 2012. The amount of new orders, however, experienced a considerable increase, resulting in a growth of the global order portfolio. It is expected that the amount of deliveries will start to rise again after 2014.

A return to the peaks of several years ago is not expected as the order portfolio is still only half of what it was in the top year of 2008. Moreover, efforts are being made to reduce the shipbuilding capacity, especially in China.

Many Asian yards have also started to use their capacity for the lucrative construction of offshore vessels and platforms. Ordering of new ships is mainly stimulated by the influx of private equity funds and the fact that new vessels usually consume considerably less fuel than those ordered before the economic crisis.

Europe is also benefiting from the revival in the shipbuilding sector, although not as much as in Asia. This is because European yards mainly rely on the construction of specialist vessels such as offshore vessels, cruise ships, dredging vessels and tugs; segments that were less affected by the economic crisis in the first place. Nonetheless, several European countries, including the Netherlands, managed to realise a very strong order intake in 2013.

With regard to the number of received orders in 2013, only Romania performed better than the Netherlands. In total, European yards attracted approximately 50% more orders than in 2012. Within the EU Italy and Germany also performed well, while Spain is gradually recovering, possibly aided by the new version of the Tax Lease (a financial arrangement). Norway and Turkey achieved positive results in the field of offshore vessels.

In addition to the three major Asian shipbuilding countries (China, Korea and Japan) and the developments in Europe, an interesting change is the fact that the Philippines has become the world’s fourth largest shipbuilding country. Russia managed to make the news with large-scale plans for reviving its shipbuilding sector. The Brazilians, who built up a significant order portfolio in the past years, are currently focused on delivering these vessels.

Netherlands Maritime Technology, May 09, 2014

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