Dutch Shipbuilding Holds Position in Difficult Market

Thursday, May 16, 2013
Photo: Holland Shipbuilding Association

2012 was a challenging year for the Dutch shipbuilding industry. In general, the industry was able to achieve relatively good results. The various shipbuilding categories however showed a mixed picture. Holland Shipbuilding Association hereby presents you a statistical overview of the Dutch shipbuilding cluster in 2012.

New constructions of seagoing vessels
Although Dutch shipbuilders had a tough year in 2012, they were generally able to hold their own. Output did suffer though. Deliveries from Dutch shipyards amounted to 95 seagoing vessels – a total of nearly 335,046 CGT with a value in excess of €1 billion. About 58% of the seagoing ships produced in the Netherlands in 2012 were destined for export. The amount of new orders placed during 2012 reflected the depressed global market situation, with a decrease of 35% in value terms compared to 2011. 61 new seagoing ships were ordered in 2012, totaling 166,471 CGT. The orderbook at the end of 2012 contained orders for 129 seagoing vessels, totaling approximately 593,893 CGT. The orderbook represented a value of more than €2 billion.

Inland vessels
The Netherlands is home to numerous yards producing specialized inland vessels. These yards often rely on the import of foreign hulls, which are outfitted to the client’s requirements. This is a process that involves close cooperation with many specialized equipment suppliers. Some 90 inland ships were delivered in 2012, totaling nearly 296,499 CGT. These also included a relatively large number of non-cargo carrying vessels, ranging from dredgers to patrol ships and river cruisers. Looking forward, Dutch builders of river cargo vessels are facing an inland shipping market with significant overcapacity in the short term. However, infrastructural and maritime policy will increasingly favor inland shipping as a more environmentally friendly way of transporting goods within the country and to the European hinterland. This should translate into a healthy long-term business outlook.

Superyacht industry
Dutch yards also continue to operate on the forefront of the superyacht industry. Dutch builders delivered 18 superyachts in 2012 and the orderbook in the Netherlands is still at a healthy level. Some 59 yachts worth over €2.2 billion are scheduled for launching over the next few years. A notable trend is the increase in the average size and value of both the yachts delivered and those on order.

Ship maintenance, repair and overhaul
Turnover in the Dutch ship maintenance, repair and overhaul sector grew with over 13% compared to 2011, in line with increased traffic in the main Dutch ports and also reflecting orders for large scale refits and conversions. Dutch maintenance, repair and overhaul yards are among the world leaders when it comes to complex conversions and refits of a wide variety of vessel types.

Equipment suppliers

Shipbuilding in the Netherlands is closely linked with approximately 670 companies supplying services and marine equipment to national and international yards and other maritime companies. Some of these companies are independent niche players, others are affiliated to the larger Dutch shipbuilding groups, and a number are subsidiaries of international companies. The majority are SME companies. The turnover of Dutch marine equipment suppliers reached a level of close to €3.4 billion in 2012, which is a slight increase compared to 2011 (€3.3 billion). This indicates that the Dutch marine equipment industry is managing to maintain its position in a weak global market. Exports are an important driver, accounting for approximately 61% of the turnover.

Total employment and turnover in the Dutch shipbuilding division
Employment in the total Dutch shipbuilding division amounted to approximately 29,500 full time jobs in 2012. The total turnover of shipbuilders and suppliers combined was €6.1 billion.

The above figures were presented on May 16, 2013 during a public meeting of Holland Shipbuilding Association. Click here for the Holland Shipbuilding Association Annual Report 2012.


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