German shipyard output slumps in 2010

29 Dec 2010
Germans hold on in special sectors

Germans hold on in special sectors

Struggling German shipyards delivered far fewer new ships in 2010 than they have for many years, conceding further market shares to Asia and themselves completing just 30 newbuildings of 783,500 gt, writes Tom Todd.

According to a media survey released on 27 December in Hamburg, the 2010 figure compared to 44 ships in 2009 and 70 in 2008 when container ships still made up the bulk of newbuilds. In 2010 only a few German yards turned out boxships. Others continued their switch to hi-tech specialised tonnage, mainly cruise, ferry and ro-ro. One late coup was an order for Germany’s first offshore wind energy transport and installation jack-up.

Topping the Germany delivery chart was cruise ship builder Meyer Werft with three cruise ships and two LNG tankers. Among the others, J.J. Sietas had a bulker, a dredger, a ferry and a heavy lift ship to its credit, Nordic delivered giant ferries to Stena, and Volkswerft deliveries included AHTS ships. FSG still led the world with ro-ro and small specialists like Fassmer and Abeking & Rasmussen stayed up front with pilot and patrol boats.

Pointing up the loss of the bigger traditional container, bulker, multi-purpose, heavy lift and tanker sectors, now largely lost at German and other European shipyards, were the 130 ships built abroad in 2010 for German shipowners, predominantly in China and South Korea. Telling its own story was the fact that most of those newbuildings were container ships of 700 to 14,000 TEUs – staple German design production just a few years ago.

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