The Singapore shipbuilding industry has evolved over the past 4 decades. In started as regional repair and building facility, focusing primarily on domestic needs when it first began. Today’s industry includes offshore engineering, rig builds, and supportive services.
The first jack-up rig was offered by the industry in 1969. It only took 5 years for the industry to become one of the largest builders of jack-ups in the world. The Singapore shipbuilding thrives on innovation, fair pricing, and quality craftsmanship in every sector. Over the past decade, there has been an intense focus on improving safety and craftsmanship.
Like many marine-related industries, changes in regulations and best practices have created challenges. The industry, however, has been able to maintain its overall global standing.
Informative Singapore Shipbuilding Industry Statistics
#1. The Singapore shipbuilding industry generates about $10 billion in annual turnover. In 2012, the industry achieved a total turnover of S$15.01 billion (Association of Singapore Marine Industries / DBS Bank)
#2. More than 100,000 workers are directly employed because of the shipbuilding industry in Singapore. (Association of Singapore Marine Industries)
#3. More than 6,000 vessels are repaired each year through the Singapore shipbuilding industry. It’s peak year for this service occurred in 2010, when more than 8,600 vessels put in a call for repairs. (Association of Singapore Marine Industries)
#4. Despite the high levels of turnover, only 110 vessels were launched in 2012. That is because the primary focus of the industry is on the offshore sector. The actual shipbuilding sector of this industry achieved a turnover of just S$1.13 billion in 2012. (Association of Singapore Marine Industries)
#5. In 2003, the industry’s total turnover was S3.79 billion. At its peak in 2009, it had a turnover of S$16.83 billion. The industry has been able to achieve a turnover of more than $10 billion every year since 2007. ((Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore)
#6. 2008 was the best year for vessels launched by the shipbuilding industry in Singapore, with 139 vessels launched for a GRT of 197,074. In terms of GRT, the best year for the industry was 2007, with 349,429 GRT newly launched. (Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore)
#7. As of February 2014, the total number of available docks for the shipbuilding industry numbers 34. The total number of graving docks was 19, while the number of floating docks and shiplifts was 15. Only 3 graving docks had a total deadweight capability of over 1 million DWT. (Association of Singapore Marine Industries)
#8. In 2015, the total turnover for Singapore’s offshore and marine industry fell by 14.5% to a total value of S$14.73 billion. Employment was also off 10.4% in the industry in 2015, dropping total workers to 95,500. (Straits Times)
#9. In 2016, due to cancellations and global financial uncertainty, the total turnover fell again to S$13.06 billion, the lowest annual turnover since 2007. (Association of Singapore Marine Industries)
#10. The shipbuilding sector of the industry has seen the largest hits in the declines experienced in the last decade. In 2007, the shipbuilding sector accounted for S$1.83 billion of the total turnover. In 2016, it accounted for just S$200 million of the sector, the lowest turnover levels in the past 10 years. (Association of Singapore Marine Industries)
#11. The total turnover of the shipbuilding sector between 2013-2016 does not equal the value of the sector in 2007. (Association of Singapore Marine Industries)
#12. In 2016, there were 4,717 total registries on the Singapore shipping registry, accounting for 88,023,000 GT. It was the first year that there was a decline in the total number of registries, even though the GT went up by over 2 million. (Association of Singapore Marine Industries)
#13. Total vessel arrivals at Singapore ports rose by over 6,000 in 2016 compared to the year before. With the exception of 2013, which saw more than 139,000 arrivals, 2016 was the busiest year in the past decade for the industry in this area. (Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore)
#14. The number of tanker arrivals in Singapore hit record highs in 2016, with more than 23,500 arrivals documented for the first time. A record in GT was also set, at more than 780 million. (Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore)
#15. In 2015, shipyards in Singapore were able to secure S$4.9 billion in new orders, which was a 49% decrease in the total number of new orders secured for the year before. Most of the new orders that were secured were for non-drilling solutions. (Association of Singapore Marine Industries)
#16. At the end of FY2015, the Singapore shipbuilding industry had a total order book standing of over S$19 billion, with deliveries scheduled through the end of FY2020. This was a 20.6% decline in total orders from the year before. (Association of Singapore Marine Industries)
#17. The rate of accidents in the workplace declined in 2015, with 22% fewer cases being reported than the year before. In total, there were 390 workplace accidents reported to the industry, with four of those incidents resulting in a fatality. (Association of Singapore Marine Industries)
#18. Because of fewer employees, the workplace fatality rate rose from 3.8 to 4.2 per 100,000 workers in 2015 within the shipbuilding industry. The severity rate of accidents rose 1.5% to 137 days lost per million hours worked from the year before as well. (Association of Singapore Marine Industries)
#19. The Singapore shipbuilding industry was able to deliver 9 new jack-up rigs and 3 semi-submersible rigs in 2015. This included the world’s largest jack-up rig to date. (Association of Singapore Marine Industries)
Singapore Shipbuilding Industry Trends and Analysis
There are certainly challenges that must be faced by the Singapore shipbuilding industry. As a whole, the industry is performing reasonably well, though the overall value of the turnover is less than it was a decade ago. Where the industry is weakest is within the offshore sector. At its peak, the offshore sector achieved S$11.2 billion in turnover. At its weakest point, it achieved just S$4.96 billion.
The ship repair and shipbuilding sectors, though they have also experienced declines, have been relatively more stable. Yet, with the exception of 2012 and 2013, shipbuilding has been on a sharp decline.
Some of this can be attributed to a slowdown in the global shipping rates. There has also been a slowdown in new drilling projects.
There may be a strong reputation for quality and fairness within the industry, but Singaporeans are being outbid by other global leaders in shipbuilding. Korea is dominating the market. India is making a play to take a larger share of global book orders. That means the Singapore shipbuilding industry must also focus on innovation if it has a chance to stay fully competitive in the changing global marketplace.