Japanese shipbuilding industry officials recently said that “Japanese shipyards has received new orders at a level almost the same with booming period”. At the same time, Korean shipyards successively Schriever high-tech and high-value-added orders as well as offshore orders. Both S.Korea and Japan has find the way to keep their competitiveness in the market downturn by strengthening their innovation capacity.
It is reported that key shipbuilders in Japan and S.Korean have their own research units to track and develop most advance ship technology globally. Even in the market trough, they never suspended investment in the R&D. For example, in the downturn of 2010, the investment in ship technology research and development still accounted for over 15% of the annual expenditure of the six main shipyards in Korean, which gained shipowners’ acknowledge-ment. “Innovation decides how far the shipyard can go”, as an industry expert put it.
Zhang Guangqin, director of CANSI says that order is the eternal theme for shipyards’ survival. China’s shipowners pay more attention to eco-designed and low-cost ships in compliance with emerging new regulations. In the tense circumstances, shipyards have to enhance innovation capacity to develop new marketable ship types.
Many small and medium shipyards choose to develop special ship to avoid the fierce competition with bigger players. Diversifies competition - to develop chemical tanker, exploration vessels, containerships and other high-tech and high-value-added ships is another way for shipyards in the overall overcapacity market.
Besides, Zhang also says that shipyards should put priority on technology negotiation instead of quotation and business negotiation. Quotation should be made after the technical specifications be fully understood.