Germanischer Lloyd (GL) increased its turnover to Euros 218.7 million in 2003, six percent ahead of the Euros 206.4 million recorded the previous year, to ensure a continuation of the growth pattern established by the worldwide classification society in recent years. GL’s “Maritime Services” sector accounted for 75 percent of the turnover, while the newly organized operating area “Industrial Services” boosted its share of total revenues from 22 to 25 per cent during the year.
The society also increased its net profits in 2003, to Euros 6.9 million compared to 6.2 million the previous year. At year-end 2003, a total of 2,148 people (1,962 at year-end 2002) were employed at the Hamburg head office and in the 147 GL offices in 78 countries worldwide.
“The year under review was strongly characterized by an unprecedented order boom for ship newbuilding classification that is continuing into 2004,” explained Executive Board Member Rainer Schoendube (Administration and Finance) on the presentation of the 2003 Financial Report
in Hamburg today (May 11, 2004). The ship newbuilding order level reached a new high
at the end of 2003, with a volume of 10.3 million gross tons (gt), and this has risen further to 14.8 million gt as of May 1, 2004. “This increased level of newbuilding activity will have a decisive effect on our activities and also on the development of our personnel levels for at least the next two years,” Rainer Schoendube added.
Maritime Services: First 9,200 TEU Container Ships
In the high-growth segment of container ships, GL continues to rank as the market leader. About one-half of all new container ships on order are being built to GL class. “For ships with a container capacity of over 7,000 TEU, of which more than 100 have already been ordered worldwide, the GL share is in fact more than 70 per cent,” emphasized Executive Board Member Dr Hermann Klein (Technology).
“Of the post 7,000 TEU newbuildings, the greater part are in fact over 8,000 TEU in size. We are well prepared for both the current and the future ships with capacities of 9,200 to 12,000 TEU and can offer shipowners and yards well-founded support with their projects.” At present, the largest container ship newbuildings in the orderbook are several 9,200 TEU units for the shipping company Claus-Peter Offen. During the 1990s containerized freight volumes increased by over 200 per cent; current volumes are forecast to triple by 2015.
GL is also successfully expanding its activities for other ship types. “We see good opportunities for winning additional market shares, especially with tankers and bulk carriers,” said Dr Klein. “With increasingly harmonized rules, e.g. for the scantlings, the technological competence of class societies is becoming more and more important as a distinguishing feature. As a specialist for technically sophisticated ships, GL can offer its customers added value that pays off, not least in reliable operation and higher resale value.“
In 2003 some 263 newbuildings totaling 3.5 million gt and classed by GL were delivered, boosting the overall GL fleet 8 per cent to 44.1 million gt. In terms of the number of ships over 100 gt under class, GL has advanced to the Number 4 position in the ranking of the ten major classification societies. As of year-end 2003 there were 5,357 such vessels classed with GL, a market share of 11.6 per cent. GL’s original target was to have achieved a fleet total of 45 million gt by the end of 2005.
However, as a result of the current strong growth phase
the class society passed this milestone at the beginning of May 2004.
Owing to missed surveys or inadequate standards in the reporting year, GL withdrew 156 ships (245 in 2002) totalling 270,000 gt (390,000) from class in 2003. The vessels affected were mainly general cargo ships (including container ships) as well as oil tankers and other tonnage.
GL reports intense activities in its newly established “Maritime Security” business area. On July 1, 2004 the International Ship and Port Facility Security Code
(ISPS) will come into effect. Within the shipping sector and also in the ports, protection against terrorist attacks and other criminal acts is to be systematically anchored more strongly in international practice. By the entry-into-force date, GL expects that it will have to inspect a total of more than 2,500 ship security plans worldwide
and also certify the corresponding number of ships according to the ISPS Code requirements.