Specifically, the Norwegian shipping companies in foreign trade reached a total turnover of NOK 229 billion in 2018, an increase of 11% from the previous year.

In the meantime, global shipping presented a strong growth in 2018. Therefore, 60% of shipowners expect increased revenue in 2019, while 20% expect reduced revenue, and 20% unchanged.

The offshore segments also expect continued challenging markets with a high number of ships in layup, prolonged low rates, and relatively short horizons on contracts.

The large cost reductions and a more stable oil price, which is higher than at the lowest levels, concluded to very good margins for the oil companies.

As Harald Solberg, CEO of the Norwegian Shipowners' Association commented

When activity levels pick up and the markets tighten on the capacity side, the oil companies must also expect a significant increase in the rates for ship operations.

The Association focused on the fact that the number of ships in layup rapidly rose during the winter of 2017. As of February 2019, 112 offshore vessels and 20 rigs were in layup, compared to 137 ships and 25 rigs in February 2018. 

Norwegian Shipowners' Association members report that the figure will decrease to 78 ships and 15 rigs by the end of 2019. This reduction in the number of ships and rigs in layup is due to a combination of increased activity on the Norwegian Continental Shelf and sale of ships.

Concerning future steps, half the shipping companies state that they will renew the fleet through newbuilding over the next five years.

Shipowners estimate that they will contract a total of 137 ships and five rigs during that period. Most of the orders are expected to come in the transport segments, deep sea and short sea shipping.