Some of the maritime industry’s leading practitioners have urged global shipbuilders and suppliers not to let the current shipping boom distract them from what must remain their top priority: the construction of quality vessels.
The comments, made at the 7th annual meeting of Lloyd’s Register Asia’s China National Committee (CNC), came as global shipbuilding capacity was set to eclipse 50 million compensated gross tons next year, raising concerns about the number of inexperienced yards entering the market and the growing pressure to find increasingly scarce skilled workers.
Zhang Guangqin, the President of the China Association of National Shipbuilding Industry, said with the appreciation of the Yuan, rising interest rates, and surging raw material and labour costs already threatening to curb the global appetite for new ships, any slip in shipbuilding quality could bring an end to the current demand cycle.
“Quality issues are the best excuses for ship owners to stop ordering and, with so many challenges emerging for the yards to manage, strengthening quality management should be the most urgent and important task,” Zhang told delegates in Sanya, Hainan Island. “This year needs to be the Year of Quality for ’s marine industries.”
The CNC meeting hosted by Lloyd’s Register was attended by more than 40 of the country’s top builders, owners and designers who collectively challenged the industry to renew its commitment to quality, noting that failure to do so would reach beyond the industry to adversely impact on the overall ‘Made in China’ brand.