EU shipbuilding is a dynamic and competitive industry which is essential, both commercially and socially. As a result, the EU plays a prominent position in the worldwide shipbuilding sector, with a market share of roughly 6% of the global order book in terms of compensated gross tonnage and 19% value. For marine equipment, the EU share climbs to 50%.
The shipbuilding sector is responsible for the construction of bigger (mostly seagoing) vessels for use by the merchant fleet (cargo or passenger transport), the offshore energy industry, or the military. It also comprises goods and services for these ships' construction, conversion, and upkeep.
Other businesses such as transportation, security, energy, research, and the environment are all connected with it. Shipbuilding is a major and critical business in many EU countries and vital to regional industrial infrastructure and national security.
Shipbuilding and repair sector includes the following sub-sectors and activities:
- shipbuilding: building of ships and floating structures; building of pleasure and sporting boats; repair and maintenance of ships and boats;
- equipment and machinery: manufacture of cordage, rope, twine and netting; manufacture of textiles other than apparel; manufacture of sport goods; manufacture of engines and turbines (except aircraft), and manufacture of instruments for measuring, testing and navigation.
It's a sector that continues to grow. Its GVA was nearly EUR 15.6 billion in 2019, up 39 percent from 2009. The gross profit was EUR 3.3 billion, up 89 % from 2009. (EUR 1.8 billion). The total turnover reported was EUR 57.9 billion, up 23% from 2009.
Furthermore, the sector directly employed over 300 000 people (although this is down 2.5% since 2009). On the other hand, personnel costs climbed by 27% in 2019 compared to 2009. The average gross wage was more than EUR 40 300, up 30% from almost EUR 31 000 in 2009. Personnel costs totalled EUR 12.0 billion.
The shipbuilding industry impacts various policy areas, mainly research and innovation, intellectual property, maritime clusters, safety, and the environment. In particular, it provides the assets, capabilities, technologies and know-how for several Blue Economy activities such as the Primary sector (capture fisheries and offshore aquaculture), Maritime transport, Non-living resources, Marine renewable energy, Coastal tourism (transport) and Maritime defence and security.
Despite the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the industry, the EU Shipbuilding and equipment sectors are driving new opportunities, especially working alongside growing and emerging sectors. These include; assistance vessels and structures for offshore wind farms, and other ocean technologies and the exploration and exploitation of the deep-sea.