Hyundai Heavy to streamline operations by 20%

With shipowners across the globe putting ordering plans on hold due to the shaky economy and cloudy regulation outlook, the world’s largest shipbuilder has today outlined plans to streamline operations by 20%.

Hyundai Heavy Industries will merge its shipbuilding and offshore operations from July 1 as part of a group-wide restructuring that will cut its size by one fifth. As well as its Ulsan main yard, HHI’s other affiliate yards include Hyundai Mipo and Hyundai Samho.

Dr Martin Stopford, the president of Clarkson Research and the world’s most famous maritime economist, published a white paper recently with his forecasts for the shipping markets through to 2050.

Stopford’s worst-case scenario for shipbuilding sees a severe recession for shipyards in the early 2020s, due to the deep coronavirus-driven downturn in the world economy. This dark prediction sees sea trade declining by 17% by 2024. Shipbuilding demand does not recover until 2025, according to Stopford’s worst-case scenario.

A total of 246 vessels have been reported ordered in the year so far, representing a year-on-year decrease of 53% on an annualised basis, according to the latest Clarksons data.

“Contracting is down year-on-year across all of the major vessel sectors, with investor sentiment in the newbuilding market significantly impacted by the Covid-19 pandemic,” Clarksons noted in its most recent weekly report.

Sam Chambers

Starting out with the Informa Group in 2000 in Hong Kong, Sam Chambers became editor of Maritime Asia magazine as well as East Asia Editor for the world’s oldest newspaper, Lloyd’s List. In 2005 he pursued a freelance career and wrote for a variety of titles including taking on the role of Asia Editor at Seatrade magazine and China correspondent for Supply Chain Asia. His work has also appeared in The Economist, The New York Times, The Sunday Times and The International Herald Tribune.
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