In Depth: All Hands on Deck

Looking back, I have to conclude that it has been a turbulent year for the Dutch maritime industry. We’ve had both ups and tremendous downs.

In early December, I had the honour to receive the first copy of the Maritime Monitor 2016 from our coordinating maritime Minister, Melanie Schultz van Haegen. This annual report is always a hot topic in the industry because it provides insight into key figures of the previous year which in this case was 2015.

At first sight, the outcome of the study seemed comforting; an increase of 3.9 per cent added value. A number that doesn’t say anything about profitability. The industry employment rate shows a rather less positive figure. With only a slight decline of 0.5 per cent, it still is a negative trend. Something we had not seen for a while. For years, the industry showed steady growth in employment, added value and export.

Apart from the shipping industry, the maritime industry mostly managed to navigate unscathed through the crisis up to 2015, in contrast to the general tendency of the struggling Dutch economy. Right from the start of the crisis in 2008, the shipping industry was hit hard. Freight rates dropped due to overcapacity and slacking world trade. Eight years later there are still no signs of recovery.

Low oil prices have a negative effect on the shipbuilding industry and cause turmoil in the offshore oil and gas industry. Reality is that the tables have turned. For the first time in years, the national economy outperforms the maritime industry. The industry finds itself in rough weather and, unfortunately, makes the news regularly in a disturbing manner. Stories covering layoffs and bankruptcies are all over the news. The Maritime Monitor used to be a reliable thermometer for the industry’s state of being. At the moment, we are almost at the end of 2016. And it is safe to say reality finally caught up and the industry is in a bad spot.

The Dutch maritime industry is famous for its ‘hands-on’ approach, our entrepreneurial spirit and self-sufficiency. Having said that, it will not surprise you that our companies are occupied and committed to identifying opportunities to find fair winds and following seas. Mind you, there are many opportunities. Think of offshore wind, tidal energy, sea farming, life cycle support in the superyacht industry and cruise shipping. 2017 will be an important year in the Netherlands because we’ll have to elect a new national government. The biggest opportunity will perhaps arise by having a new government with a strong focus on the maritime industry. Either way, if we want to turn the downfall around it’s ‘all hands on deck’!

Wim van Sluis Chairman, Nederland Maritiem Land (Maritime by Holland)

Industry’s view is provided by one of the firms affiliated with the Dutch maritime network organisation Maritime by Holland.

This article was previously published in Maritime Holland edition #7– 2016

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Breakbulk Europe 2017

For more than a decade, Breakbulk Europe has served as the networking hub for industry professionals who do business in Europe — or would like to! Exhibitors and sponsors include cargo owners, ocean carriers, freight forwarders, ports/terminals, heavy haulers, equipment companies and more that are involved in this specialized industry.

In addition to exceptional networking opportunities, Breakbulk Europe provides a dynamic conference, along with a range of educational and training workshops — intensive all-day classes held the day before the exhibition opens as well as many on-the-floor sessions.

  • Over 7,600 participants attended Breakbulk Europe 2016
  • Meet with over 400 exhibitors and sponsors
  • Hear from industry experts, including leading shippers, during the conference sessions
  • Learn new skills in the educational workshops held before the exhibition and on-the-floor micro-seminars and exhibitor-led sessions during the event

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Ferries Asia Summit

Propelling Regional Waterway Connectivity & Fleet-wide Operational Excellence

Ferry travel is in the limelight. The potential for driving tourism growth is immense – and for archipelago nations battling with urban congestion, ferry services pose a clean, efficient alternative in everyday public transport. But high-profile ferry accidents have brought ever greater attention to safety regulations for Asia’s maritime travel industry.

Amid these circumstances, how can vessel operators cope with ever-tightening safety requirements, while making the right decisions at the right time to capture rising demand? What are the smartest ways to improve service reliability and fleet quality, that maximize operating and capital spend? What are the industry’s best-practices for sustainable growth, and how can they be achieved?

Play your part! Join us at the Ferries Asia Summit 2017 to push forward the regional debate on making Asia’s ferry industry more progressive, safe, and commercially sustainable. Bringing together fast-ferry, RO-RO and ROPAX vessel owners along with international and domestic maritime regulators, classification agencies, shipbuilders and naval architects, this event connects the entire value chain for a meaningful holistic debate on ferry operations excellence in Asia.

WHAT’S ON THE AGENDA THIS YEAR?

Comprehensive debates on addressing the complexity of ferry safety in Asia: Is vessel age truly the greatest concern? How significant are other factors, and how can they be addressed?

Pathways to change through greater public-private collaboration

Contrasting viewpoints on the most effective ways to enhance operational stability & passenger management

Cost-efficient O&M strategies to extend vessel life & tips for stakeholder management to avoid purchasing mistakes

Integrating ferry business with tourism opportunities through strategic partnerships

Exciting formats including speed networking, panel discussions & a high-intensity fast-pitch ‘Shark Tank’!

For more information, click here to download the brochure.
If you would like to attend the event, register here before 3rd February to save USD 400.
Alternatively, email us at enquiry@iqpc.com.sg 
for any enquiries regarding the event.

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INMEX Vietnam 2017

The event is an exceptional meeting point for the global maritime community in Vietnam, a region where the industry remains buoyant and strong…

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Singapore Maritime Week 2017

Singapore Maritime Week (SMW) is the leading maritime event in Singapore. Driven by the Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore (MPA), SMW…

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