VDMA – marine and offshore equipment industries

The MARINE AND OFFSHORE EQUIPMENT INDUSTRIES, founded in 1973 and based in Hamburg, is a special division of the non-profit organization German Engineering Federation (VDMA e. V.)

This special division of VDMA has about 200 member companies, from industrial branches like mechanical engineering, electrical and electronic industry.

The services offered are:

  • to support customers in arranging contacts with efficient German marine and offshore equipment manufacturers
  • to intensify mutual co-operation with shipyards and shipping companies in technological as well as commercial fields
  • to foster the free market principles in the world market by means of close contacts with various international organizations on the one hand and on the other hand with the assistance of the national government
  • to enforce the technical harmonization through international standardization
  • to sponsor important international exhibitions and to execute active support.

German Engineering Federation (VDMA): Record exports for marine and offshore equipment suppliers in 2006. Sector growth 11% in 2006.

“More and more orders from all over the world are filling our books! Our sector has an average order backlog of over twelve months. This is thanks mainly to the even stronger growth in export business,” reported Dr. Alexander Nrnberg, chairman of the German Engineering Federation (VDMA) – Marine and Offshore Equipment Industries, at the association’s annual press conference in Hamburg. “The increasing shortage of skilled staff must not deter us from preparing ourselves to meet future challenges by focusing on further innovations. German marine and offshore equipment suppliers are currently harvesting the fruits of their edge in expertise that they have developed over the years. We want to and indeed have to continue to expand our pole position as world champion for exports.

Suppliers staying successful

German marine and offshore equipment suppliers with a total workforce of approx. 72,000 achieved sales of 10.5 billion in 2006, over 11% up on the previous year. The export rate was 75%. The sector could thus maintain and expand its leading role for high tech systems for shipbuilding, especially in export markets. Makers of engines and connected systems also had a particularly successful year.

The European shipyard industry is currently flourishing alongside the top three Asian shipbuilding countries. In 2006, a total of 3,329 (previous year: 2,480) ocean going ships were ordered worldwide, 881 (445) in China, 692 (463) in South Korea, 603 (474)in Japan and 354 (470) in EU-25, including 65 (138) in Germany and 285 (255) in the rest of Europe. Orders on hand worldwide come to 6,908 (5,522) units. In 2006, 41% of the foreign business of German marine equipment suppliers was accordingly in Asia and 33% in other European countries. The strongest growth was registered for China, which meanwhile accounts for 27% of foreign orders, well ahead of South Korea’s share of 12%. Sales markets in the Middle East developed against the general trend with a 5% share, whereas North America again achieved a clear increase at 8%.

Eastern Europe and Norway each claimed 4% of foreign business.

The market for equipment for the offshore oil and gas industry is still experiencing a very impressive boom. The high raw material prices globally are still stimulating increased investments in state-of-the-art solutions – an ideal market for German suppliers, which have so far been particularly successful in niches.

The environmentally compatible ship as challenge for the future

Shipping accounts for 95% of long-distance freight transport. It is vital to continue to develop the “clean ship” in close cooperation with shipping lines and shipyards. The innovative development teams at all German marine equipment suppliers are on the search for smart solutions for optimised energy usage. Integrating innovations in ship operation is one of the main challenges facing suppliers as lifecycle partners of shipping lines. Clean engines, optimised ventilation plants, efficient energy supply systems and intelligent route planning methods are just some of the types of innovations provided by German marine and offshore equipment suppliers.

Sector expects 10% growth for 2007

“After our good performance in 2006, we also expect to achieve growth of over 10% in 2007,” explained Nrnberg. “This is above the 9% forecast for the overall machinery and plant construction industry. We must appreciate in Germany that we are dependent on exports, as was very clearly demonstrated in 2006. The parameters for small/mid-sized businesses must be improved, which means that more has to be done to reduce bureaucracy and streamline labour law. The low level of new hirings shows that, given more flexible handling of the regulations for employee protection against unlawful dismissal, industry could respond much faster to order fluctuations and offer even more jobs. However, basically it must be said that, after a very successful 2006, German marine and offshore equipment suppliers will also perform well in the current year.”

Go to Index of # 3(21) 2007


# 3(21), 2007