The beginning of 2014 saw the global order-book continue the growth trend which started in 2013 after five successive years of decline, it was concluded during the annual general meeting of European Ships and Maritime Equipment Association (SEA Europe) held in Copenhagen, Denmark from 26-28 June.
The current order book stands at 180million CGT. In the first quarter of 2014 new orders increased 60% compared to the same period last year (14.5million CGT).
European shipbuilders hold the global 3rd position in terms of the value of the order-book ($31.5bn) and new orders ($3.3bn) – this is down to the specialised vessel segments which Europe manufactures.
European marine suppliers have a global market share of 43% higher than any other manufacturing region.
Against the backdrop of the relatively positive economic outlook for the European maritime technology industry, the Danish Ship-owners Association (Mr Jan Fritz Hansen) outlined some of the future trends and challenges for the shipping sector and areas of cooperation with the industry.
A number of opportunities were put forward such as the expansion of arctic sea routes whereby owners and manufacturers could come together to design and build ships and technology to fully exploit the market potential and gain real economic benefits.
Although Mr Hansen did stress that any future scenario of again seeing excessive overcapacity in the shipping sector should be avoided at all cost.
Mr Aron Sørensen of BIMCO presented to the AGM an insight into some of the upcoming regulatory developments and its future enforcement in the maritime sector.
There are a number of environmental and safety issues which need to be addressed in the coming months and it requires pragmatic discussion between owners and manufacturers in order to gain a better understanding of the technologies on the market.
Understanding their operation and reliability will offer a frank assessment of how they can best be used to meet these regulatory developments.
Manufacturers would consider that to further innovation of green technologies more emphasis should be placed on the grandfathering of environmental solutions to serve as an incentive to move enforcement forward.
Furthermore the industry participants at the AGM stressed that the economic level playing field or distortion of this plays a significant role in the hampering of growth.
It was reported that in Asia manufacturers are still being prevented from taking advantage of foreign markets because of scrapping subsidies and local content requirements put in place by Asian competitors.
The SEA Europe Chairman Mr Govert Hamers stressed that “looking forward to the new European Commission, SEA Europe and its members will place more efforts to bring to the attention of the policy makers the distortions of the level playing field and seek ways to address this.”
“Europe seemingly is the only region promoting open markets without reciprocity from our international colleagues and this really hurts our home-grown business.”
Press Release, July 3, 2014; Image: Damen