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Shipbuilding in Demand

Nov. 26, 2012

During 2012 we saw tremendous interest and investment in shipyards.  In this very global economy it would stand to reason that ship building is on the raise.  Much of the growth not only comes from the growing demand for shipping more goods around the world, but a greater demand is also coming from building greater and larger ships that can carry two and three times the amount of cargo that their predecessors can, all in an  effort to make the shipping companies more efficient.

Much the same phenomenon is taking place in the vacation cruise industry.  It is all about making the ship greater, bigger and more grand than ever, so that more people can go on a single vessel making the profit per trip far greater than their predecessors as well.  It is also about making the ships so grand that the ship becomes almost a destination in and of themselves.
 
Additionally, the aging fleets of ships in the world has also created a demand to up-grade their fleets and hence the need for new ships.  However, it is not just the need for building ships that is driving investments in the shipyards.  We are also seeing a great deal of investment to many shipyards to up-grade and expand their yards.  For example, we know of three shipyards in the Western Hemisphere alone that are planning to invest more than $50 Billion US Dollars total in various investments to expand, modernize, retool and perform overall up-grades to those yards.  With the growing demand for greater and larger Mega Ships, as the industry calls them, these yards now have to redesign their yards and dry-docks to accommodate these new Mega Ships.  All of these investments are a good sign for all of us in the safety, crane, rigging, steel, gases, welding and cutting industries.  

The Panama Canal is also faced with this very same challenge as The Canal was build more than 100 years ago and was built at that time to accommodate what people then thought to be the largest ships in the world.  The Canal is 48 miles long and took 10 years to build, as it was started in 1904 and was completed in 1914.  Today, there is a project now to build a much wider canal directly along-side the existing Canal to accommodate the new Mega Ships of tomorrow, however it is planned to take less than 3 years to complete.  

This type of growth and investment is not unique to only the Western Hemisphere as we are seeing the same opportunities in Korea, Russia and many other parts of the world.  We look forward to these international opportunities, as well as many other we are currently identifying for 2013.