Global shipbuilding industries


I still believe that a strong shipbuilding industry is essential for long-term naval strength (aside from land-based and submarine abilities in naval warfare). Thus an update on earlier blog posts about the global shipbuilding industry:
(c) RBA
  (That "Rest of the world" is overwhelmingly not the United States).




  1. I agree with your assessment of naval power, but note that history has demonstrated some amazing swings in sea power.

    The Romans and Spartans come to mind.

    The issues with the ship building industry in the USA were created by short-sighted government regulation, and reinforced by poor management decisions by industrialists.

    In the case of warships, an argument can be made for nationalizing shipyards. There is a strong historical precedence for this even in the USA. Most heavy guns and armor were produced in U.S. Navy foundries, armament factories, and shipyards.


  2. http://ec.europa.eu/enterprise/sectors/maritime/files/fn97616_ecorys_final_report_on_shipbuilding_competitiveness_en.pdf

    This report about European shipbuilding highlights the issue better. Europe does not have the yards, where the ships are built, but it does have a 36% market share measured in marine equipment value. Value created with a ship is shifting from hull construction to marine equipment (50-70% of total value). European yards are manufacturers of niche products, while European marine equipment producers have a very significant market share as subcontractors of the big Asian yards.
    From a military perspective, it's not a bad outlook on the capability to quickly built up seapower in case of conflict.
    Europe has a weakness in economic hull construction and would need to build new and bigger yards, but it does have the know-how base of all the crucial components inside a ship. These matter most for military vessels.