After the harsh Covid years, the Dutch shipbuilding industry fared better again last year, but it really needs to bring in more work to stay on track. That, in short, is the main conclusion to be drawn from the 2023 annual results that interest group NMT was able to distil from its member surveys.

The annual review by our editor Gerrit J. de Boer in this June issue is traditionally accompanied by the publication of the unsurpassed map of the Netherlands with all Dutch shipyards and their deliveries over the past year. This once again makes it an issue worth saving.

The most important short-sea shipbuilders along the Winschoterdiep in Groningen, Royal Bodewes Group and Ferus Smit, are doing well in particular. And Thecla Bodewes, too, can get on with its order book for a while. The large yacht building industry, which unlike many other sectors did manage to secure many orders during Covid, is still doing well. Perhaps in his tussle with Jef Bezos for the title of richest man in the world, Elon Musk, like Bezos did, should also order a beautiful high-tech superyacht in the Netherlands.

Also read: SWZ|Maritime’s May 2024 issue: It’s good to be nice to your neighbours

Keeping shipbuilding afloat

But despite the good news from short-sea shipbuilders, shipyards are still going bankrupt, such as GS Yard in Foxhol in early April, although it did make a restart. And anyone following the news from just across the border about the illustrious Meyer Werft in Papenburg knows how financially vulnerable shipbuilding is. Despite a wonderful order book, Meyer is now hundreds of millions short to pay its staff and much-needed materials to build the cruise ships it has on order.

In this context, it is good to read especially SEA Europe’s article on what, according to the shipbuilders’ interest group, is needed to keep shipbuilding in Europe afloat. Shipbuilding is a politically and strategically crucial sector, which is of great importance for the survival of the European economy and the democratic freedom to make political choices. As such, this sector deserves all political support.

Also read: SWZ|Maritime’s April 2024 issue: Innovative inland navigation

Future fuels

Furthermore, this issue once again focuses on the question of which fuels will be needed in the future to make shipping more sustainable. Particularly interesting in that regard is the article by Reinier Dick, fleet manager of SNSPOOL, on how this operator of supply ships from Den Helder manages to achieve loweremissions by adding enzymes to the marine fuels used.

On behalf of the editors of SWZ|Maritime, I may again offer you an edition well worth reading, and don’t forget to check the call for new contributors in the KNVTS announcements.

This is editor-in-chief Antoon Oosting’s editorial accompanying the June 2024 issue.

Also read: Editors and editor-in-chief wanted for SWZ|Maritime

SWZ Archive

Our digital archive is once again available to subscribers and they can read the digitial version of our June issue there. Subscribers can register here to gain access. Not yet a subscriber? Visit our subscription page.

Also read: SWZ|Maritime’s March 2024 issue: Ports, dredging, and strategy

The articles in SWZ|Maritime’s June issue

In addition to the regular sections such as Dutch news, Markets, Global news, book reviews, news from the KNVTS and Mars Report, the articles in the June issue are:

  • A change of course
  • No major changes at Acta after French takeover
  • SEA Europe calls for European maritime strategy
  • Dutch shipbuilding industry up 10% in 2023
  • Bunkering new fuels and Rotterdam’s role
  • Damen on future fuels: All stakeholders needed
  • Fewer emissions with enzyme-doped marine fuel
  • Liquid ammonia requires fail-safe pumps
  • Integrating container lashing and stability software
  • Sand motor powers West Africa climate resilience
  • Uptake of advanced tech amid dredging market growth
  • Oproep: redactieleden en hoofdredacteur gezocht

Picture: On 14 June, during Delfsail, Queen Máxima performed the christening ceremony of two new fuel-efficient Wagenborg Easymax vessels, the Máxima and Alexia (photo Brenda van de Wal, cover picture of SWZ|Maritime’s June 2024 issue).