The latest Shipbuilding Market Forecast, published by Lloyd’s Register - Fairplay Research, predicts continued modest-but-steady growth for the passenger ship sector over the next five years.
The monthly research report provides detailed analysis and forecasts covering all sectors of the passenger ship market, including passenger and cargo ferries, cruise ships and large private yachts.
“The projected falloff in newbuildings for passenger ships is relatively small compared to other sectors of the shipping industry,” observed Niklas Bengtsson, report co-author. “This is because the passenger ship sector largely escaped the ordering frenzy of the last few years. The supply-and-demand environment for passenger vessels is different than for other sectors, which are now suffering from severe overcapacity.”
The largest sector in this group is ferries, with a total fleet size of 6,316 ships as of May 2009. They are roughly divided 50-50 between passenger-only vessels, and those carrying passengers as well as rolling cargo (generally referred to as “ro-pax” in the maritime industry). The annual growth rate of 0.5 percent over the past five years will slow very slightly to 0.4 percent during the next five years, according to the report. That translates into a total of 518 new ships being delivered by shipyards through 2013, down from 637 in the previous five years.
The cruise ship fleet, which currently stands at 507 ships worldwide, will grow at an annual rate of 2 percent during the next five years, virtually the same as the previous five years. The relatively flat growth curve is a reflection of the cautious approach of the larger cruise ship operators when it comes to capital investments, according to the report.
“The short-term outlook for the cruise industry is overshadowed by the current economic crisis, but given that consumer confidence at least has flattened out at the bottom, a turn upward seems highly likely in the second half of 2009,” said Bengtsson. “However, as far as the bottom line is concerned, the level of earnings will probably be quite low for all the large players. For smaller players, the outlook is even bleaker.”
The report also predicts that the annual growth rates in new, large private yachts will slow from an average of 10.9 percent during the past decade to 4.4 percent in the next five years. The current fleet of 1,230 yachts will increase by 226 newbuilds through 2013.
The Shipbuilding Market Forecast is a monthly report published by Lloyd’s Register - Fairplay Research. Each report examines a specific sector of the world shipping market, providing a detailed five-year shipbuilding forecast, including new orders, deliveries and demolitions, with a comprehensive presentation of graphs and tables.