In the cruise industry, it is widely acknowledged that four main shipyards are competing for the majority of all new cruise ship orders. In its latest publication, GUIDE 01, ShipPax Information of Sweden has compiled figures to illustrate the situation in a market report. According to the outcome, the dominance tends to be strengthened if anything. The four shipyards are Kvaerner Masa-Yards, Meyer Werft
, Chantiers de l'Atlantique and Fincantieri. Between them, they delivered 22,630 lower berths on new cruise ships last year. Other yards contributed with 1,968. The "Big Four" had a market share of 92percent of the capacity delivered. In the early 80s and earlier, all cruise ship deliveries came from different yards, albeit the total capacity at that time was not impressive. In 1982 - 1984, the "Big Four" became dominant, with a market share of 51 to 57 percent of the capacity.
Then after a drop in 1985, they again started to make an impact and maintained a market share of approx 65 to 80 percent in the mid 90s, increasing and leveling out at around 90% for the remainder of the decade.
Deliveries booked for 2002 total 34,365 lower beds (all time high), of which the "Big Four" will produce 30,519 and the other shipyards around the world just 3,846.
The special knowledge that is required for modern and efficient production is based on experience and investment. The latter can only be done by shipyards confident in maintaining a market leader position. Therefore, the trend, if any, is that the "Big Four" will continue to prevail. Among the remaining shipyards fighting for an approximate 10 percent market share, we may see newcomers. "Especially Far Eastern shipyards, with competitive prices, as well as European shipyards with past experience of qualified ferries, may be able to enter the market," says Klas Brogren, publisher of ShipPax Information.