Shipbuilding – a challenge for the entire industry

What happens in the shipbuilding sector will play a fundamental role in shaping the fortunes of the wider shipping market for the next decade.

There has been a lot of talk in recent months about the state of world shipbuilding, but much of the commentary has been based on supposition, gut instinct or pure guesswork. There has been little rigorous assessment of the likely cancellation risk associated with the current bulging orderbook. Do commentators know the likely level of future shipbuilding demand, or the shipping demand that drives it? Do they know how many orders have been cancelled, and how many “cancelled” ships will be built anyway? Do they know what shipbuilding capacity really is? How much of today’s order slippage is the result of a planned slowdown in production and how much is a measure of shipyards’ over-optimism? Now, in a new 200-page report, Drewry Shipping Consultants analyses the facts and explodes some of the myths surrounding the future of this crucial sector. The lack of knowledge has led to some assessments that are cock-eyed or just plain wrong – sometimes dangerously so. But several things can be stated without equivocation.

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