According to UK-based Clarkson Research Services, Shanghai Waigaoqiao Shipbuilding (SWS) had an order backlog in November of just over three million compensated gross tons (CGTs), an indicator of the level of shipbuilding ouput.
That puts the Chinese shipbuilder in fifth place by order backlog in November, posing a threat to South Korean shipyards which had been dominating the top five list for years.
SWS had an order backlog of 3.03 million CGTs as of end-November, beating South Korea's Hyundai Mipo Dockyard Co. that held 2.84 million CGTs, says a report in Yonhap.
Daewoo Shipbuilding & Marine Engineering Co. captured the top spot with 8.24 million CGTs, trailed by Samsung Heavy Industries Co. with 5.03 million CGTs and Hyundai Heavy Industries Co. with 5 million CGTs, the data also showed.
Hyundai Samho Heavy Industries Co. ranked fourth with 3.92 million CGTs.
South Korean shipbuilders have been facing challenges throughout 2015 with key players posting net losses amid an industrywide slump and rising costs.
Korea′s ″big three″ logged a combined loss of over four billion dollars in the first half of the year. Even more concerning is that prospects aren′t looking good for next year either.
The country's top three players logged a combined loss of 4.7 trillion won (US$4.03 billion) in the first half of the year, with the losses expected to amount to over 7 trillion won for the full year as there's a delay in the construction of offshore facilities and a drop in new orders.
Analysts say that in order to maintain competitivness Korea's local shipbuilders need to focus on their core strengths rather than expand their businesslike branching off into construction of offshore plants where they lack experience.
They add that the government will need to help small shipbuildersas it′s only a matter of time before Chinese shipyards catch up.