The Dutch maritime technology sector has had a good year, posting a 17% increase in turnover, from € 6.4 billion ( USD 7.14 bln) in 2013 to € 7.5 billion (USD 8.36 bln) in 2014. The sector employed 31,680 FTEs, up from 29,361 in 2013.
“Overall we see a nuanced picture, with ups and downs,” says Hans Voorneveld, chairman of trade association Netherlands Maritime Technology.
“It is crucial to remain resourceful and to continue to innovate and export. The sudden mid-year fall in oil prices led to a decline in orders from the offshore oil & gas industry. Our sector supplies a wide range of markets, however, and this decline was offset by rises elsewhere, especially for offshore wind farm vessels, superyacht construction, patrol boats and other specialised boats.”
According to data released by Netherlands Maritime Technology, the total order book for seagoing vessels in Dutch yards has remained stable at a substantial level. The tonnage of seagoing vessels delivered in the Netherlands rose in 2014, ending a decline that started in 2007. Orders for seagoing vessels at Dutch yards decreased although there were notable orders in the form of a number of series-built short sea vessels.
A total of 67 seagoing vessels were delivered in 2014 (in 2013, there were 77). There were new orders for 99 vessels (in 2013, this figure was 136), with a value of € 1 billion (€ 2.3 billion in 2013). The share of exports was 80% (59% in 2013). The value of the vessels completed in 2014 amounted to € 1.2 billion. The turnover of the yards was € 4.6 billion in total.
The maritime supply industry in general had a good year, with a significant increase in sales of more than ten per cent. Many companies took on extra staff and some had to utilise their production capacity to the limit. The growth has mainly come from export and the activities of foreign subsidiaries, Netherlands Maritime Technology said.
The construction for inland shipping, fishing and small-scale seagoing trade below 100 GT remains a big industry in the Netherlands. Some 108 inland shipping and seagoing vessels up to 100 GT were delivered in 2014. The value of the delieverd vessels in 2014 is estimated at more than € 600 million. Declining output of cargo vessels for inland shipping was offset by the completion of no fewer than 14 river cruise boats. In fisheries, 2014 was notably the year in which the construction of a revolutionary fishing vessel was commissioned.
Superyacht builders also had a good year. Although the completed vessels – 16 yachts with a combined value of € 649 million – were worth less than in 2013, the order intake – 22 yachts worth a total of over € 1.4 billion – stayed at the same level. The average size of ordered yachts continues to increase as yards prove that the Netherlands has the capacity to create yachts above 100 metres.