Shipbuilding downturn hits GL
Job losses ahead for GL?
The COO of Germanischer Lloyd, Torsten Schramm, has said restructuring and job losses are now likely in the classification society as a result of a continuing global decline in ships on order, writes Tom Todd.
In an interview with the respected German-language publication THB, Mr Schramm noted continuing world-wide reluctance to order newbuildings and its effects on the equipment supply sector. “If a crankshaft is not ordered then an engine doesn’t get built. And if an engine doesn’t get built, neither does a ship”, he was quoted as saying.
Employees at GL’s Hamburg HQ and at branches across the world have already been informed of the current situation. The society employs some 6,900 people, 1,200 of them in Hamburg.
Mr Schramm said GL’s 1,500 ship surveyors world-wide were “fully booked” to the end of this year and added that GL was involved in the delivery of ships of about 12 million gt in 2012. However, in 2013 there would be a decline in newbuilding orders, he predicted.
One reason was the difficult situation in German shipping companies - traditional GL customers. They were either not getting, or experiencing great difficulty getting, finance to build new ships. According to THB Mr Schramm described the recent decision by the giant Commerz Bank to withdraw from ship financing as “a fatal signal for the sector”.
One result of the decline in newbuilding orders, Mr Schramm was quoted as saying, was that alternative work had to be found for about 180 employees world-wide in GL’s Maritime Services sector. Redundancies were a possible last-ditch resort, but GL wanted to concentrate on “intelligent measures spread over two to three years”, he said. Alternative job possibilities were seen above all in the expanding oil and gas and renewable energy sectors.
GL said a revival in business and in newbuilding activity was expected by 2016 at the latest and Mr Schramm predicted: “tomorrow’s ships have to be more economical and more eco-friendly. There are big opportunities for GL here, for example in providing expert advice to shipowners. To do that however we need good engineers”.
He predicted that research and development would become increasingly important with LNG propulsion more interesting for owners faced with stricter eco regulations and rising oil prices. He noted GL was already very active in this sector.
“Germanischer Lloyd has mastered many business crises in its 160 years. It will also master this one”, THB quoted Mr Schramm as saying.
Links to related companies and recent articles ...
- GL and NTU Athens win Greek Shipping Award
- GL moves Swedish office to Gothenburg
- Research project BESST receives EU funding
- GL in joint venture with German aerospace centre
- GL guidelines on gas fuel in force
- GL and NMRI explore environmental risk evaluation criteria
- GL issues the first EEDI certificate
- Greece accepts GL's extended drydocking programme
- GL issues the first EEDI certificate
- First LNG powered vessel with GL class
- Safer shipping of dangerous goods with ‘GL Cargo’
- Klein stands down from current GL role; ex-Damen boss takes over
- GL launches new rules for OSVs
- New technology centre caters for growing offshore industry
- GL approval for bearing wear monitor
- Container ship optimisation yields significant fuel savings
- Hull condition assessment software reduces maintenance
- Panama accepts GL EDD programme
- Bunkering operator opts for fleet management software
- GL bolsters green ship recycling in Asia
- Class society details BWM procedures
- GL launches Korean language website
- GL introduces extended dry docking
- GL and SKF develop machinery condition monitoring software
- GL ships top USCG safety rankings
- GL’s new structure focuses on clients
- Environmental passport updated by GL
- New Aframax design concept from GL
- Class rises to new challenges of shipboard noise
- GL signs global co-operation agreement with ship manager
- GL launches MLC 2006 e-learning tool
- Inland waterway vessels the focus for new GL appointees
- Antigua and Barbuda authorises GL for MLC certification
- GL examines MEPC 62 outcome
- GL class now accounts for 100 million gt
- 5,000 ISM/ISPS certificates from GL
- GL to certify Cat marine dealer network
- GL announces new Naval Ship Classification Association chairman
- GL examines scrubber technology
- Five GL stars for German operator
- GL and IHI focus on LNG fuel for boxships
- GL launches pocket guide for MLC 2006
- GL names new global sales vice-president
- Ice research aims to cut uncertainty in design and operation
- Outlook positive for LNG even when the charterer pays
- FutureShip appoints head of Singapore office
- FutureShip and Marorka ally on emissions
- Box ship meets new labour standards
- GL updates ship Rules
- GL and MAN produce LNG boxship study
- GL certifies ‘Bit Viking’ as ‘clean’
- Shipbuilding downturn hits GL
- GL installs new monitoring prototype
- First Chinese order for GL HullManager
- GL encourages young marine engineers
- LNG boxship design receives GL approval
- Scandlines backs eco-alternatives to Fehmarn link
- 1,000th SEEMP for GL's FutureShip
- DNV and GL join to form mega-class society
- NSC adopts GL engine condition monitoring survey
- GL certifies MaK dealer Bolier
- DNV-GL merger proceeds
- Eco-Ships and retrofitting: GL’s solution for the future
- EEDI certification from GL
- More features for GL’s ECO-Assistant software
- EEDI first for Hapag-Lloyd ship
- Fuels for the future
- Combined class shows the way forward