For the first time in its history, Hamburg Messe und Congress GmbH has conducted a large-scale study asking exhibitors and visitors of the leading global trade fair for the maritime industry to give their assessment of the sector’s economic and technological development. The SMM Maritime Industry Report shows that the industry is looking to the future with confidence, and reveals the key issues that are on everybody's mind.
Hamburg, November 29th 2017 --( ASIA TODAY )-- Reflecting the views of more than 2500 participants from 69 countries, many of whom hold senior positions in the maritime industry, the SMM Maritime Industry Report, prepared jointly by Hamburg Messe & Congress GmbH (HMC) as the organiser of SMM, and the market research institute mindline, presents a good impression of the prevailing sentiments in the industry. "Our first comprehensive industry survey is a great source of inspiration as we prepare for the next SMM in September 2018," says Bernd Aufderheide, President and CEO, Hamburg Messe und Congress GmbH. While the maritime industry has gone through difficult times, it is now ready to tackle the future with a can-do spirit. "The results of the SMM Maritime Industry Report are a very valuable source of information for us in aligning the SMM itself and the accompanying conferences with the needs of the industry," the CEO of the Hamburg trade fair organisation points out. Nearly ten months before it opens its doors, SMM is almost fully booked. "This underscores the role of SMM as the world's leading industry fair, and it shows how much value companies assign to personal interaction, expert input and tangible technological progress, especially in turbulent times,” says Aufderheide.
Big response and top-flight participants
• Roughly three quarters (74 per cent) of respondents were SMM visitors, and one fourth (24 per cent) were exhibitors.
• Nearly one fifth of respondents (19 per cent) work at a shipowning company, 13 per cent are employed by a shipyard, and the majority (67 per cent) work at a supplier.
• 72 per cent of respondents hold a senior position at their company, and approximately two thirds (65 per cent) make investment decisions, either alone or in a team.
Ship-owning companies plan to invest
There are signs of hope even among shipowners. Some of the players clearly view the growth prospects as positive, indicating an increasing willingness to invest, as one particular survey result reveals: 20 per cent of responding decision-makers consider it as ‘very likely’, and an additional 12 per cent as ‘likely’ that they will order new ships within the next 12 months. "This is especially surprising considering the fact that this value is far above the typical fleet rejuvenation rate," comments Dr Max Johns, Managing Director of the German Shipowners Association VDR.
Strong interest in LNG
Stricter environmental regulations are also causing a stir in the ship propulsion segment. The industry is homing in on LNG as an alternative to conventional ship fuels. 44 per cent of respondents said LNG is their first choice when contemplating ship newbuilding orders. But hybrid solutions based on marine diesel are likewise popular. "There is no way around the energy transition in the maritime sector. The increasing number of newbuilding orders and retrofits shows that LNG is gaining ground. The future of low-emission shipping has long begun," says Dr Reinhard Lüken, General Manager, German Naval Architecture and Ocean Engineering Association (VSM). The supply industry agrees, with 49 per cent of respondents saying they consider LNG as the champion among alternative fuels.
Another item high up on the agenda is Autonomous Shipping: 36 per cent of shipowner executives believe it to be the future of merchant shipping. 90 per cent of those in support believe that the use of unmanned ships will be routine in as little as 20 years. "We have seen an enormous shift in public opinion here," says VDR managing director Johns. The two-decade horizon is not a far-fetched prospect, considering the average service life of a ship, he adds.
Study lends fresh impetus to SMM
SMM Maritime Industry Report Sector sees light at the end of the tunnel
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