Bas Ort, chair of the trade association Netherlands Maritime Technology (NMT), noted that many new orders were received and ships completed in the Netherlands during 2018. He explains that this indicates the country's perseverance to attract orders for new types of ships.

NMT reported minor improvements in the Netherlands in 2018 compared to 2017, both for Dutch yards and suppliers.

A small step forward but not one that came easy to the sector, which is being more creative than ever


The figures for 2018 report that the recovery of the order intake in the construction of seagoing vessels in the Netherlands has stalled. In 2018, the yards received build contracts for 39 vessels, while in 2017 the same number was 56. The reduction in the number of orders is mainly because of a decrease in new orders for tugs and workboats.

At €643 million, the overall value of the order intake compares to the years 2015 and 2016, but is significantly less than 2017 (€1,138 million). The amount seen in 2017 was because of a few large complex orders being placed. The 58 vessels delivered in 2018, 3 less than in 2017, represented a value of €589 million. However, despite the decline in the order intake, the overall value of the order book remained stable at €1.8 billion.

dutch maritime

Credit: Netherlands Maritime Technology

What is more, the trend for sustainability and digitisation resumed in 2018. These areas can enhance the sector's competitive position, as was the case in 2018. The maritime turnover of the approximately 800 Dutch maritime suppliers was €3.5 billion in 2018, a growth of 4.3% in comparison to 2017.

On the other hands, the downward trend in the overall turnover of Dutch repair sites was broken in 2018 for the first time in several years, despite this cannot yet be described as a convincing recovery, NMT stated.

While it is true that revenue was €416 million in 2018 (€381 million in 2017), there is still much ground to reclaim as this figure was over €562 million in 2015. Employment was 1,751 FTEs (1,710 in 2017)

As for inland navigation, fishing and small seagoing vessels, this category did good business in 2018, with the dry docks and quaysides being continuously busy. The order intake of luxury river cruise vessels especially increased over the previous year, while a great amount of maintenance work was conducted.

In 2018, the yards in this segment received construction contracts for 185 new vessels (198 in 2017) and delivered 183 (155 in 2017). The order book also remained stable with 143 vessels in the portfolio at the end of 2018 (146 in 2017).

Finally, the size and value of superyachts continued to increase. Yacht builders are expecting that this development will continue and are constructing new production facilities that can handle larger vessels.

In fact, twenty-five superyachts were delivered in 2018 with a value of €1.5 billion (€1.2 billion in 2017), while 16 new orders were received (18 in 2017) with a value of almost €1.1 billion (€1.2 billion in 2017). The total order book included 50 superyachts (57 in 2017) with a value of almost €4.1 billion (€4.5 billion in 2017).

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