Netherlands Maritime Technology
Source De Waal
Roel de Graaf
"No shipyard can function without a dedicated, loyal and innovative team of marineequipment supply companies. These companies deliver products and services to shipyards, ship-owners, the offshore industry, inland shipping, fisheries, yacht building and navies. The most important product groups are electrical and mechanical installations, engineering services, nautical components, construction parts, coatings, interior outfitting and technical maintenance services."
Source Alphatron Marine
The Netherlands has just such a cluster of companies. It is estimated that the Dutch marine equipment industry numbers around 800 companies, which are mainly SMEs but almost all are very actively engaged in export markets.
The Dutch marine equipment includes such household names as Huisman Equipment, Alewijnse, Pon Power, Bakker Sliedrecht, RH Marine, Radio Holland, Hatenboer-Water and Alphatron to name but a few. All companies known throughout worldwide shipbuilding for their innovative solutions, flexibility and reliability.
Sustainability, digitalisation and product development
The renewal of product portfolios is combined with a shift to solutions with an emphasis on sustainability. Many suppliers have contributed to an online catalogue of Dutch-made sustainable maritime solutions on www.sustainable- maritime solutions.nl. Investments were also made by various equipment suppliers in digitalisation of production and products and the enhancement of their sustainable character. A select number of SMEs have also grasped the opportunity to use government funding to support the speeding up of their product development.
The Dutch maritime equipment supply industry in 2018
The far-reaching specialisation of Dutch suppliers and their focus on vessel types with a lot of complex equipment again proved a good strategy in 2018. Prospects in the maritime supply sector generally improved in the course of the year. Despite a more positive sentiment towards the end of the year, the market for most suppliers remained very competitive and price levels remained under pressure.
The total direct turnover of Dutch maritime suppliers rose slightly to around € 3.5 billion in 2018, compared to €3.4 billion in 2017 – an increase of 4.3%. Estimates show that just over 60% of sales were exported. The number of employees in the sector grew from 16,413 people in 2017 to 17,318 people in 2018. There was also an increase in the number of temporary employees, from 1,460 in 2017 to around 1,676 in 2018.
Sustainability and digitalisation continued to be major topics in 2018. An important trend in digitisation is the increasing interlinking of smart systems on ships, which is leading more and more functionalities to be added to the products. Suppliers are increasingly focusing on the digital monitoring and maintenance of equipment, with efficiency and convenience for customers being major considerations. Suppliers have also made a lot of efforts in the area of sustainability. A new trend is the expansion and professionalisation of e-commerce platforms, which aim to simplify the procurement of parts and make it more efficient while improving service for customers.
Source ZF Marine