The European Shipbuilding industry is currently composed of approximately 300 shipyards specialised in building and repairing the most complex and technologically advanced civilian and naval ships and platforms and other hardware for maritime applications. European shipyards generate today a production value of approximately EUR 42 billion yearly and employ more than 300,000 direct jobs in Europe.
Over the last fifteen years, European shipbuilding has evolved from the building of steel-intensive merchant ship types, such as tankers, bulkers and containerships, to complex vessel types and structures. Today European yards are world leaders in the construction of cruise ships and are global leading players in the production of the most advanced ferries, offshore supply vessels, research vessels, workboats, fishing vessels, dredgers, tugs and other non-cargo carrying ships (ONCCV), including sophisticated naval ships.
The picture below shows the evolution of the European Shipbuilding Orderbook and progressive specialisation of European shipyards in high-tech, complex vessels types. Such specialisation was a result of a continued investment in research, innovation and development as well as in a skilled workforce, which allowed the sector to stay ahead global and fierce competition from non-EU Shipyards. Very few sectors have experienced such a rapid and drastic change in their product portfolios over a such a short time period.