Today, the marine economy is experiencing the worst crisis in the world since the Second World War.
The industry faces huge challenges.
The crisis mixes all the cards and requires enterprises to quickly adapt to changing framework conditions. And that was always the strength of Germany. German enterprises in the field of shipbuilding and marine engineering have learned from past mistakes and are now winning the competition in the global market.
Thus, their export quota in the construction of new merchant ships exceeds 97%.
The German shipbuilding and marine engineering industry is marked by an increase in both supply volumes and order book. In 2013, its turnover was about 17 billion euros.
The shipyards alone employ more than 20,000 employees, and the adjacent shipbuilding industries employ 80,000 people.
After the collapse of the market in 2009, the order book in the construction of merchant ships has grown steadily and today has reached the pre-crisis level, but the structure of the order portfolio itself has changed significantly. There was a departure from serial production, today mainly individual solutions for demanding customers are being developed.
Concentration on the construction of special vessels
To date, all enterprises in the industry have focused on the construction of special purpose vessels. Some companies actively and successfully specialized in new markets, especially in the field of renewable offshore wind energy.
Even taking into account the fact that the volume of this new direction of production is not able to fully compensate for the departure from the classical market segments, they nevertheless make an important contribution to the diversification of the range of products produced.
Low manufacturing costs are always more important.
Today, for many shipping companies, low production costs are much more important than low capital costs. This forces some customers looking for stability, legal security, reliability, quality and innovation in the market today, when placing orders, again turn their attention to Europe. In order to successfully provide these framework conditions, it is necessary, given the increasing complexity of technology, a high level of coherence in the entire value chain.
Wider use of technical know-how of German companies creates important competitive advantages for the shipbuilding market.
Climate protection as a chance
Today, technical innovations in the field of climate protection, aimed primarily at improving energy efficiency, are considered as a chance. However, when implementing other measures to reduce the negative environmental impact, it is much harder for shipping companies to adhere to this point of view.
This is often due to the need for large investments and additional production costs.
The issues that have been intensively discussed in recent years, especially the long overdue reduction of nitrogen and sulfur oxide emissions from marine engines, are now clearly regulated by law. In addition, new technical solutions have appeared, such as, for example, ship fuel or advanced methods for treating exhaust gases.
Offshore Wind Power Pulses
The decision to stop the use of atomic energy in Germany, as well as international commitments to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, give particular impetus to the development of renewable energy production, especially in the field of offshore energy. This has a positive effect on German enterprises.
The construction and operation of offshore wind farms in the North and Baltic seas require the development of efficient and innovative special purpose vessels and platforms, as well as the reliable provision of related services. The ideal partners for this are German shipyards, allied companies and shipping companies with excellent technical know-how and rich experience in the implementation of complex projects in the field of maritime economy. This will allow shipyards to significantly expand the range of their products.
Distinctive qualities of German shipbuilding
The strengths of German shipbuilding are primarily in such areas as energy efficiency, climate protection and environmental protection, ship safety, as well as quality and deadlines. Also, German shipbuilding companies offer customized solutions.