Shipbuilding implies, in simple terms, the building of ships. It involves the process of design and construction of ships and other floating vessels. Shipbuilding is a labor intensive industry, which means a major chunk of the work is done by humans. Shipbuilding companies manufacture large vessels, particularly seagoing vessels. These vessels are used by trade (merchant and cargo), transport, energy, and military sectors. Shipbuilding companies also offer products and services for building, maintenance, and conversion of vessels. Other products manufactured by shipbuilding companies include tugs, fishing vessels, bunker tankers, small passenger ships, and small general cargo carriers.

The shipbuilding market is expected to grow at a slow but steady pace during the forecast period. Use of new technologies, such as artificial intelligence and automation, is a key driver of the shipbuilding market across the world. Adoption of robotic technologies is likely to rise in the shipbuilding market in the near future. Additionally, as more and more countries around the world open their shores to international trade, demand for products manufactured by shipbuilding companies is expected to rise in the next few years. Furthermore, relaxing of trade regulations is projected to help fuel the growth of the global shipbuilding market in terms of facilitating ease of movement of goods across borders. Many countries across the globe are commissioning the construction of inland waterway systems for easy movement of goods within borders. Opening of inland waterways also opens newer avenues for passenger transport which is expected to increase the demand for products of the shipbuilding industry. Also, growing security concerns are anticipated to drive governments to shore up their naval fleets, which in turn, is likely to boost the order-books of shipbuilding manufacturers. National security concerns are likely to augment research and development activities in the global shipbuilding market in the near future. Trade outlook of key commodities such as crude oil and gold, among other commodities, is also expected to boost the demand for products of the global shipbuilding market. However, there exists a number of potential restraining factors that are anticipated to affect the growth of the global shipbuilding market. The global economic slowdown of 2008 led to drying up of global order-books in this market. Recovery from that position has been slow, which presents itself as a major challenge to the manufacturers of shipbuilding products. The slowdown created a situation of global oversupply and excess capacity. The situation of overcapacity in the shipbuilding market post the economic slowdown of 2008 led governments to take certain drastic measures to revitalize growth in this market. Measures such as subsidies to shipbuilding manufacturers distorted the market. The condition can be addressed only through close and efficient cooperation among national economies—at policy-making as well as strategic levels. Another way to alleviate such distortions is through active involvement of industry participants.

Segmentation for the global shipbuilding market can be done on the basis of ship type, end-user, and region. Based on ship type, the global shipbuilding market can be divided into cruise ships, cargo ships, military vessels, tugs, fishing vessels, bunker tankers, small passenger ships, and small general cargo carriers. In terms of end-user, the global shipbuilding market can be classified into transport companies, military, and others. On the basis of region, the global shipbuilding market can be segmented into North America, South America, Europe, Asia Pacific, and Middle East & Africa. The global shipbuilding market is dominated by Asian players.

Key companies operating in the global shipbuilding market include Hyundai Heavy Industries, Daewoo Shipbuilding and Marine Engineering, Samsung Heavy Industries, Mitsubishi Heavy Industry, TSUNEISHI SHIPBUILDING Co.,Ltd., Imabari Shipbuilding, Northstar Shipbuilding Private Limited, L&T India, and United Shipbuilding Corporation.

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