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Wednesday, November 14, 2018

Workload in repair yards set to increase against background of already tight repair capacity

The International Maritime Statistics Forum Annual Meeting was held this week in Gdansk, Poland.


One of several interesting presentations was given by Jakub Walenkiewicz of Det Norske Veritas (DNV).  He warned that repair capacity for ships is currently very tight, and that this situation is likely to deteriorate.  The workload of the repair yards is set to increase by some 87% from 2004 to 2012, and yet at the same time it is estimated that around 30% of the repair capacity has been converted to newbuilding in recent years. The fleet is growing by at least 8% per annum and may easily hit double digit growth.  Ships are also becoming substantially bigger and naturally require larger facilities (especially super post panamaxes).


It is already difficult to obtain a slot in repair yards. Often ships are blocked for many days before they can be serviced.  A repair slot has to be ordered at least four months in advance and the time schedule has to be kept to. There have been reports of ships having to leave the repair yard before the work is finished as the allotted time has been used up. Super post panamax container vessels as well as large cruise ships cannot enter most of the VLCC docks due to the draft limitation. New requirements put an even bigger pressure on repair yards due to the extended scope of inspections and repairs. The lack of skilled seafarers often may cause a measurable deterioration in the condition of vessels arriving for repair, which naturally increases the workload for repair yards.


Walenkiewicz thought the only solution would be to build more repair yards.


Robert Willmington, Research Analyst from Braemar Seascope, updated on the ordering status of the world fleet and the ship yard situation.  He said that in particular for bulk carriers some deliveries at green field yards will probably be delayed.  The lead time for ordering aframaxes was some 23 months in the third quarter of 2001 (3Q01), 36 months 1Q04, 28 months 2Q04, 42 months 4Q07 and it had now been reduced to 35 months 1Q08.  He expected it to be further reduced and said that this could affect shipbuilding prices. One of the problems in analysing the shipbuilding situation is the underreporting of the Japanese yards, which cannot take orders before 2012. Whereas the delivered orders in 2008 will be close to 20 m GT, the published orders for 2011 delivery amount to only just over 11 m GT.


Erik Ranheim, INTERTANKO's Manager Research and Project Section, gave a presentation on the emissions issue, which can be viewed on INTERTANKO’s web site at Intertanko Presentations.


Contact: Erik Ranheim