Highlighting the trends that are fuelling a recovering sector
Driven by global trade and tourism, the marine sector continues to grow this year with the global powerhouses of China, Korea and Japan all predicted to show profitability in 2019 after a challenging decade since the global economic crisis.
Between them, the three Eastern nations won more than 85% of new commercial ship orders in the first seven months of 2018, with South Korea, in particular, leading the way for growth, although China remains the world’s largest shipbuilding nation with around 41% of global newbuild tonnage. The traditionally strong shipbuilding regions of Europe and the USA also mustn’t be forgotten, with manufacturing excellence continuing to drive their success.
But as all markets vie for competitive advantage in an increasingly lean sector which has been forced to reinvent itself after the testing post-2008 period, what innovations are helping major shipbuilders to stand out?
Let’s look at some of the trends which are driving the marine sector into 2019 and beyond.
Greater focus on environmental responsibility
Like the off-highway, automotive and energy sectors amongst others, there is an increased focus on the environment for marine.
Emissions standards are now more stringent than ever and this has contributed to the continued development of more electric and hybrid systems for propulsion in particular.
Shipbuilders are switched on to the benefits of environmental responsibility, not just from a regulatory point of view, but from a reputational one too.
Smart technologies supporting unmanned vessels
In another shift which mirrors the automotive industry, there is a growing trend for driverless ships, which could deliver a wealth of benefits for operators. However, as with the development of driverless cars, this particular trend comes with some major considerations.
Aside from the function of the vessels themselves, smart technologies can also support unmanned vessels with easy monitoring from shoreside, representing a seismic shift towards connected devices and the Internet of Things.
However, despite the potential for innovation, the fundamentals of transporting by sea will remain. Such vessels would still have rotating equipment and as such would still require vibration mounts, so it remains important to look at market leading solutions from manufacturers like Trelleborg.
The impact of rising oil prices
With the recent drop in offshore vessel production due to rising oil prices, some shipyards have switched to building different types of vessels and tapping into other revenue streams such as smaller, luxurious cruise liners, which is a booming industry.
Designed for a variety of applications, such as expeditions in the Amazon and polar regions, a great emphasis is placed on passenger comfort in these vessels, alongside performance and efficiency requirements. To achieve this, extra consideration is required at the manufacturing stage through innovative antivibration solutions.
Overcoming the scarcity of sector expertise
Finally, the marine sector’s recent challenges around high staff turnover mean knowledge and expertise is becoming a scarcity.
We have noticed a growing trend for our marine customers to seek partners who can offer more than just products, instead delivering a consultative approach on technical excellence for an added value service. This has been particularly evident since Trelleborg’s acquisition of Loggers, an international solution provider in the field of shock, vibration and noise control, which has a long history of building added value relationships in the marine sector.
More than that, some of our team have been involved in the development of new industry standards, bringing with it a wealth of expert knowledge that can benefit our customers.
Click this link to find out more about Trelleborg’s solutions for marine.